LONDON — This week will see Patrick Cox take to Paris to present Lathbridge, his first own-label footwear and accessories collection since leaving his company in 2007.
According to the designer, launching the collection, which is derived from his middle name, was “something I’ve got to do. I’m kind of the shoe guy,” said Cox over a green tea here. “I’ve got to get this off my chest…it’s my passion and it’s what I love doing.”
As for the collection’s aesthetic, Cox said he’s designed the line to “nod to heritage and a traditionally British looking shoe, but with a certain Seventies value. The shoes have got a little bit more to them either with the choice of material or the color…I think I just have a slightly offbeat eye,” he said.
Among the Italian-made designs are loafers, Thirties-style crepe soled sneakers and lace-ups in materials that run from calfskin embossed with a crocodile pattern in a camouflage print, to real crocodile skin.
The new collection will spotlight 15 shoe styles for men and 12 for women (actually women’s versions of the men’s designs), along with a small selection of bags and wallets.
The color palette will be “autumnal,” the designer said, with Cox using vegetable tan leathers in colors such as chocolate brown, bordeaux and military green.
Cox noted that he’s taking a broad approach to the customer he’s targeting. “Whoever walks in the door and appreciates what I do and likes it, that’s my customer,” he said.
“I think everything I do always has a little touch of dandy or peacock to it, but the designs are not quite as bling as maybe my shoes used to be…but they’re…for someone who doesn’t mind being noticed per se,” he said.
While the Canadian-born, London-based Cox found major success in the Nineties with his Wannabe loafers, the designer said the new line doesn’t hark back to those days. “Obviously loafers are a big part of my history and there is a loafer, but it doesn’t look anything like before,” noted Cox.
The Lathbridge collection will be priced from around 250 pounds, or $380, to 350 pounds, or $530, at retail, aside from the crocodile designs which start at 1,500 pounds, or $2,270.
For its first fall season, the collection will be sold at Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty in the U.K.. “The retailers I’ve spoken to are very excited about the price point,” said Cox.
“We’ve really tried to do something intelligent because I don’t think the world needs another 800 pound ($1,200) sneaker,” said Cox.
Alongside launching the new line, Cox will continue working with Geox, for which he started designing in 2011, and noted that Geox had informed his new label. “I’ve learnt a lot about construction and flexibility from my time at Geox,” he said.
Cox, who is financing Lathbridge himself, didn’t disclose first year sales predictions, but said he’s looking to launch the label with 25 to 30 accounts in the first season.
He also plans to launch a Lathbridge e-commerce site next season, and eventually the label’s own store carrying men’s accessories such as umbrellas and cufflinks, home-ware and dog accessories.
“I want to have a sort of one-stop shop where you can go and customize your look,” said Cox. The designer will show the Lathbridge collection at the Rainbow Wave show room in Paris from Friday to Jan. 30.