Five Minutes With Nicholas Kirkwood New!

As if this time of year weren't busy enough for designers, tireless shoe maestro Nicholas Kirkwood is about to unveil the results of a design project with Samsung. We caught up with him to talk must-have ankle boots, getting away from Philip Treacy and the pros of modern technology...

What have you been up to lately?
Recently, I managed to get a few days holiday in Jamaica which was very relaxing. Since coming back I have been hard at work on my final designs for SS13 and everything seems to be coming together now.

I have also been working on a new collaboration with Samsung to design two Limited Edition cases for their new GALAXY Note 10.1 that will be unveiled at Fashion's Night Out on 6 September. I've been using it nonstop, especially when I'm out and about, as it makes communicating my designs to the factories so much easier - I can literally sketch up something using the S Pen and email it over in a matter of minutes. As my label has expanded globally, I travel much more frequently and take inspiration from all my daily interactions. Capturing ideas and working on-the-go have never been more important, which is where the GALAXY Note 10.1 steps in. It has completely changed how efficiently I work when travelling.

Your career continues to go from strength to strength. How did you first become interested in fashion and, in particular, designing shoes?
I used to work in the Philip Treacy shop selling hats. It was there that I found my love for accessories. Being surrounded by all the beautiful objects Philip produced was really quite inspiring. But I could never go up against the master himself and design hats, so I decided to go the opposite end of the body and design shoes.

Has there been a moment in your career where you've thought, "Wow, this is it; I've really made it now"?
It has to be SS08, when I won the AltaRoma / Italian Vogue's "Who's On Next" competition. It was the same season that I found the right factory in Italy that could produce shoes to the quality that I wanted them and that could execute my designs the way I imagined them. It seemed as if everything was falling into place.

You collaborate with all kinds of incredible designers on their catwalk collections; what do you find most challenging about nailing a design brief?  
What's really important to me is that the final product captures the identity of both my brand and the designer I am collaborating with. There has to be a constant back and forth and more often than not, there isn't a lot of time to develop certain ideas, so coming up with a solution can be quite tricky. But, one way or another, they always seem to get done.

Do you have a particular kind of girl in mind when you design?
Yes, actually. I think she's an independent woman who has a strong and defined vision of herself, with an implicit understanding of luxury.

What do you think sets London girls apart from the rest of the world, style-wise?
London girls embody that eclectic look. They aren't afraid to mix up their vintage with the new in a way that is really quite unique to London.

What are the key pieces we should be excited about from you for autumn/winter 2012?
I  have introduced a 70mm pointy ankle book, which is the first time I have offered a boot on this height. I have offered it three ways: in suede/patent, a "belle ?©poque" pattern embroidered onto mesh and a laser-cut version.

What's next for Nicholas Kirkwood?
I will be launching my first men's shoe collection during men's London fashion week in January. I can't tell you what they will look like yet as I haven't started designing them, but I'm really excited to get started on the range.

Inspired by the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1's culture of intuitively aiding creativity, productivity and personalised communications, Nicholas has designed an exclusive limited edition leather case for the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, which will be unveiled at Fashion's Night Out on 6th September at the Samsung Stage.