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July 9 2014

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Ladies who Lunch

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“I’m literally here for a few hours,” said shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, who flew to New York from London for a luncheon at Bergdorf Goodman yesterday. The occasion? The arrival of his new Spring collection, which, featuring pearl-soled pumps and swirling metallic sandals, was on display in the center of the department store’s famed shoe floor. “It’s nice to meet the customers and have lunch with some New York ladies,” laughed Kirkwood, who revealed that he’s opening a new store in the Wynn Las Vegas this June and hopes to launch handbags in the next year.

Indeed, he attracted quite a set of ladies—from New York and elsewhere. The likes of Shala Monroque, Suno’s Erin Beatty, Hannah Bronfman, and Julie Gilhart joined hosts Cecilia Dean and Leslie Fremar to fete Kirkwood. A five-months-pregnant Margherita Missoni took a break from renovating her and her husband’s New York pad to dine with the designer. “I have a harder time wearing very, very high heels now,” conceded Missoni, who’s working on a book to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of her family’s house. “I’m loving wedges, so I bought three pairs to wear over the summer. And I’m so over platforms.” If the Spring trend reports are any indication, she’s not alone. “I’ve been trying to do single soles since 2009,” said Kirkwood. “I would have been happy if they went out, like, two years ago.”

Valerie Steele, who included Kirkwood’s shoes in FIT’s Shoe Obsession exhibition and lauded him as one of the “emerging superstars of shoe design,” was skeptical. “There are a lot of people who have practiced very hard to wear their platforms, and who love the extra height it gives, so I think they’re going to remain an option,” she said. “And, of course, just because it’s swinging toward single sole now doesn’t mean that in eighteen months it won’t swing back.”

Photo: BFAnyc.com/Matteo Prandoni

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