24 posts tagged "Alberta Ferretti"
Nicholas Kirkwood better have a sturdy mantel. A bit of plywood shelving just won’t hold up under all the awards the English shoe designer has been racking up. There’s the AltaRoma Vogue Italia Who’s on Next award he took home last year, and then the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award for accessories he won at the latest British Fashion Awards, and the Footwear News Designer of the Year award that brought him to New York earlier this month. Given that it’s only been three years, Kirkwood may want to consider investing in a trophy room. For his fans, meanwhile, Kirkwood’s heels are trophies unto themselves, or perhaps something like a Santiago Calatrava skyscraper for the foot: daringly cantilevered, awe-inspiringly high, and balanced, seemingly, by will alone. That architectural sensibility has earned him a following among his fellow designers; he regularly collaborates with Rodarte and Alberta Ferretti for their runways, and this year he joined Jonathan Saunders in the revamp of Pollini. The most intriguing Kirkwood news, however, may be the fact that for Fall 2009, this sworn enemy of all things grounded is working on his first pair of flats. In the meantime, Kirkwood talks to Style.com about kitten heels, boudoir shoes, and how all good stories must come to an end.
I understand that your interest in designing shoes grew out of an experience making hats. That’s a bit of a switch, from head to toe.
It’s funny to look back on, because this was really only a few years ago and yet the whole landscape of shoe design was different. I was working with Philip Treacy, and women would come into the shop looking to finish an outfit. They’d bring in clothes, and they’d bring in their shoes. At the time, it was just this sea of kitten heels and really girly, pretty things. It seemed like there was a space for something else.
Had you studied shoe design in school?
I went back and took classes at Cordwainers. Not in design, though—just in shoemaking. I wanted to learn the craft. Continue Reading “Nicholas Kirkwood Feels For The Falling Model” »
Alberta Ferretti is the latest designer to get the avatar treatment (no, it’s not like Botox) and enter the virtual world of high-end shopping. She may have just opened and fêted a flagship in L.A., but her newest address is in StarPlaza, which is a decidedly more global locale. A Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti boutique opened last week at Stardoll.com—think Second Life for young fashionistas. On the site, users can drag and drop clothes onto their avatars—a process known to Luddites as “trying on”—purchase them with Stardollars, hang them in their virtual closets, and, of course, wear them around the Web. The occasion practically begs for a young Hollywood representative, which is where Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin) and her avatar come in. “They gave me mile-long supermodel legs. You’ve got to love that,” said the real Williams of her animated self. The virtual Zelda (pictured above) will be hanging out at the store and modeling looks. “Zelda embodies modernity,” Ferretti says of her spokesmodel. What could be more au courant than being a spokes-avatar? No slouch in the modernity department herself, Ferretti—a BlackBerry user who claims that device and its Wi-Fi cohorts “have no secrets” from her—met Williams after her Spring 2009 runway show. “I absolutely adore her,” Williams (an iPhone user…awkward) says of the designer. Love like that will undoubtedly translate into some real Philosophy gear for the budding celeb, which, as much as we in the online world hate to admit it, will always trump the virtual kind.
Alberta Ferretti‘s dresses have been making regular appearances on the red carpet for a while now, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the designer has chosen to make Hollywood the home of her brand’s first-ever freestanding store in the United States. The Alberta Ferretti flagship on Melrose Avenue opened officially last week, and with its debut introduced the new store-design concept for Alberta Ferretti that the designer co-conceived with London-based Sybarite Architects. A sure-to-be-starry opening party for the boutique is planned for November; in the meantime, Ferretti talked to Style.com about setting up camp in the City of Angels.
The Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti store in New York City has been open for several years now. Why wait so long to open a U.S. shop for your primary line?
I make decisions when I believe in the product or project and I am ready to put my name and energy into it. This decision process is not limited to my designs, but also to my business strategy. As a fashion designer with boutiques in many international cities such as Paris, Milan, and Istanbul, I have many global commitments. It’s not until recently that I felt I had the time and conviction to open an Alberta Ferretti flagship boutique in the United States.
Given that you’ve had the Philosophy presence in New York and even show that collection on the New York runway, what made you decide to open Alberta Ferretti in L.A.?
Oh, a multitude of reasons: the mood of my current collections, my success on the red carpet…I opened the Philosophy store in Soho when I found the right location and when I felt that the brand had a correspondence with the city. Similarly, West Hollywood and, more specifically, Melrose Avenue felt like the appropriate place to experiment with the new concept of my boutique design.
What inspired the new concept?
I am convinced of the necessity to change with the times, especially when change means the evolution of a story. In this case, I felt the necessity to modernize the relationship between my fashion and the woman who inspires my collections—the customer I envision wearing my designs. As I orient my fashion towards a strong and contemporary woman, I felt the need to reflect this evolution in the architecture and interior design of my boutique.
More and more of the customers wearing your designs seem to be actresses—as you say, Alberta Ferretti has been having a lot of success on the red carpet lately. Do you feel like your brand is having a moment?
If I am having a moment, it is because I have surrounded myself with a team that helps me sense the signals from the real world. The first work of a fashion designer is to develop his or her sensibility, but it’s important to tune into the changes in the culture as well, and reflect those shifts through fashion. If I succeed, it’s because I have succeeded in my cultural study.
Do you find much to study in L.A.? Does the city inspire you?
It’s a city I love for its extraordinary diversity and its passion for the cinema, an art that I adore. As compared with European cities—but also compared with the U.S. cities—Los Angeles give me an irreplaceable energy recharge. I adore Manhattan, obviously, especially for its efficiency and quickness. There are many other U.S. cities that I enjoy for their various and always interesting features, but Los Angeles, for me, is a place full of extraordinary imaginations that are not afraid to dream big.