Paul Andrew, New to Nordstrom

HERO

For over 15 years, Paul Andrew has been a silent force in footwear, crafting shoes for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. In September of 2012, the British-born, New York-based expat stepped into the spotlight with the launch of his eponymous label. During Paris Fashion Week, The Thread had a tête-à-tête with the designer at his pop-up studio near the Notre-Dame Cathedral and discovered his mission to bring the sexy shoe back.

On launching his namesake label: “About a year ago, I decided that I would embark on my own adventure. It just felt like the right moment to branch out and introduce that silhouette again. What I was trying to do is create this light, sexy, elegant shoe, which was a real departure from chunky, heavy platform shoes that have become so mainstream. The reaction has been so positive, I have to say. We’re really so fortunate.”

On the return of the sexy shoe: “What I’m trying to do is be identified with this sexy, fine, elegant-looking shoe, but I think the customer will respond to the hidden comfort inside. This is something I’ve worked really hard on for many years with other designers, really trying to perfect the fit.”

On showing in Milan: “I show my collection in New York and Paris, but this year I showed in Milan too, because I was asked by Franca Sozzani from Italian Vogue to enter the design competition Who Is On Next? I won this year, which was awesome.”

On fit and comfort: “After working for 10 years with Donna Karan, who’s obsessed with fit and comfort, it’s really embedded in my brain that things have to feel good on the feet. You have to be able to wear them.”

On treasured gifts: “A friend of mine gave me a book last Christmas called Flower by artist Andrew Zuckerman. He photographed everything in the book himself, and the images are just amazing. I wanted to do prints for the spring 2014 collection, so I just plucked up the courage and called him, and he was very open to collaborating. Many of the prints are taken from his archive, and we manipulated them to create custom prints on the shoes. Then all the colors were taken out from the flowers, and from there I created a special color palette for the collection.”

Get your sexy back and slip into Paul Andrew.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland