Haute Interview: Shoe Designer Nicholas Kirkwood At Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour

Nicholas Kirkwood, German-born shoe designer known for his eccentric yet captivating designs, made an appearance yesterday evening at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour. Before Kirkwood introduced his incredible Spring 2013 Collection, which has an oceanic theme that’s right at home in South Florida, we got a chance to catch up with him to ask a few questions.


Congratulations on winning the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. How does it feel to be the winner?

It’s fantastic.  It is the kind of recognition that means a lot to my business.


Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?

I would have to say Manolo [Blahnik].


What goes into designing a shoe? What is your creative process?

The very first is just having a pad of paper and doodling away; just trying to find new shapes you think are interesting, and then the shoe comes later. I’ll do a bunch and then about a week later, I’ll go through the designs again to refresh myself. It is a kind of a gradual, evolving process. Sometimes you might have an idea like, ‘Okay, this is a shoe I want to do; but quite often, I don’t know in the beginning how it will look in the end.


Is that the way you came up with the oceanic theme for your Spring 2013 Collection?

Yes, I mean the whole idea of that definitely involved something else but I can’t remember what. As you come up with that kind of idea, you get inspired by it and find ways to turn the idea into shoes. I guess it’s like writing a song. Sometimes you might start out with lyrics, or sometimes you start with the music.


And where else will you be showing your collection?

I’ll be in New York tomorrow for Fashion Week.


How do you know when a design is complete?

Usually, if you don’t have it in the factory now it is not going to get made. I mean, they can pretty much be evolving forever, but at some point you just have to say, ‘Okay, it is time to actually make the shoe.’


If you had to pick one shoe from your collection, which one would be your favorite?

The low-heeled, black and white striped. It is a new heel height for me, and it is just very clean and simple.