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Brian Atwood Gets His Foot In The Door On Madison

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2012 has been a big year for Brian Atwood. The New York-based shoe designer launched his first handbag collection this fall, filled with graphic minaudières, fringed clutches, and smart totes. Just last month, he unveiled his digital boutique, and today, Atwood opens the doors to his first flagship at 655 Madison Avenue. “It just felt like the right time,” the designer tells Style.com, noting that he’s dreamed of having a store on New York’s iconic shopping row since he was a child. The 1,450-square-foot plush boutique, with its purple quartz entry arch and stiletto heel window facades, houses the largest selection of Brian Atwood merchandise in the world, from his high-end pieces, like fall’s thigh-high python boots, to the new handbags to shoes from his diffusion line, B Brian Atwood. And naturally, in collaboration with William Sofield on the store’s design, Atwood ensured that the boutique echoes the opulence of his sexed-up kicks.

Atwood’s new home was inspired in part by old Hollywood glamour as well as the Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria. “It’s reminiscent of that decadent luxurious time. You walk into this special place, this special world, and there are all these beautiful things just waiting to be tried on.” Divided into three unique salons, the aubergine, sea foam, gray, and bronze boutique is lined with mirrors and anchored by illuminated palm umbrella pillars. “I really wanted this to be a chic haven for women who love shoes and love the shopping experience,” he says. And according to Atwood, the experience is “orgasmic.” “There’s no other word for it!” he says, laughing. Considering the space features silk-lined columns, lush retro custom furniture, and mohair shelves that tickle shoppers’ fingers as they reach for platform pumps, it would seem that Atwood isn’t exaggerating. In-store treats include boutique-exclusive styles whose soles will be garnished with gold plates that read “655 Madison.” And a few of Atwood’s favorite shoes will be marketed with Quick Response codes that, when scanned with an iPhone or iPad, will link to films that Atwood describes as “little romantic tales about where the shoe’s concept came from.”

Things continue to heat up for Atwood this November, when he will reveal a capsule jewelry range, only available in the flagship and at his online store. The five-piece collection will include Italian-made chokers, cuffs, and a wrap bracelet that combines leather or python with gunmetal or a light gold. “We didn’t want to start with a 40-piece collection. We’re just doing relevant pieces that women need. That’s it.” If that doesn’t turn on Atwood fans, we don’t know what will.

Brian Atwood, 655 Madison Avenue, NYC.

Photo: Kyle Ericksen

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