One of my favorite shoe designers, Nicholas Kirkwood was recently flown down to Dubai by Level, and I got the chance to sit down and talk to him. Super sweet, and so down to earth… we spoke about his designs, inspirations, the Middle East, his relationship with Sophia Webster & why he doesn’t like tweeting. Make sure to pop down to Level Shoe district in Dubai Mall to check out exclusive designs and the rest of their collections.
What do you think of Dubai?
It’s been great understanding the market and to see the culture, and how everything is. We got to see some of Art Dubai It’s amazing how it’s all come together in a short period of time. The weather is great! I’m already planning my next trip.
What do you think of Level?
I think Level is fantastic. I love how it’s a large shoe floor, but still feels intimate. It feels great to be a part of it.
Who is the Kirkwood girl?
She’s an independent girl, who has a strong sense of style and isn’t necessarily a follower.
Who are you inspired by?
Many things – Architecture, Abstract sculptures, shapes, layer on fashion element of a story and I combine those two.
You do have a great relationship with Sophia Webster, who also used to work for you. How would you describe the relationship?
Sophia was my first assistant. I’ve only really had one assistant. She’s incredibly talented, and she really has her own vision – which is very different to mine. It’s sort of a mentorship in a way, and give her some guidance on mistakes I’ve done that I’ve had to learn the hard way, and so I help her to avoid them.
How important is social media to your brand?
We don’t do a lot ourselves, but we follow it very closely… and we try to get other people to do it for us *laughs*
Do you see this changing?
I know a lot of brands that try to be interactive with it. For me, I like a bit of mystique about creating, that’s part of the fantasy of a fashion label. There needs to be a distance in some sort of way. My PRs have created an account, but I haven’t tweeted once. We work very closely with social media, but in a different way. We are very aware, we follow, and we work with people like you! We know social media is very influential in the market. As a customer, you tend to believe something more if someone talks about it, rather than the designer selling it themselves.
What has been your ultimate highlight in your career?
It’s always nice winning awards because of recognition from the industry or the general public. The best would have to be from the Vogue Fashion fund – historically, it’s always gone to someone from ready to wear, so this is the first time it’s gone to an accessory designer.