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Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood is known for his fashion-forward, architectural stilettos, but when it came to revamping the Pollini accessories line — a job he was hired for earlier this year, along with fellow Brit designer Jonathan Saunders, who is overseeing ready-to-wear — he reined himself in.
This story first appeared in the August 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I wanted it to look fresh, but not too avant-garde. It needs to have some sort of sense of a historic brand,” explains Kirkwood, who will continue designing the namesake collection he unveiled in 2005. Taking cues from what he calls Pollini’s “slightly heavier constructions,” Kirkwood, a Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers graduate, designed the spring-summer 2009 collection around stacked heels — some featuring black-and-white stripes, others wrapped in python — and shots of color (red, sea blue and even orange pop up on flats and slingbacks). “It still has some characteristics of what I might do with my own [line],” Kirkwood says, noting that one group features laser cutouts that work a lacy effect — including a high-heeled mini bootie featuring a zippered back that is probably the collection’s sexiest piece. One challenge that briefly tripped the designer up: flats.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done them, and it sounds like it would be so easy, but there’s a lot to consider,” he says. “It’s a different type of use, more practical, but you also still want it to look interesting.” The solution: Shiny hardware, silk bows and even a tassel or two dress up the line’s ballet flats. Kirkwood and Saunders will launch their runway collaboration during Milan Fashion Week.