When FN arrived at Alexandre Birman’s Paris Fashion Week presentation today at The Ritz, the designer and CEO immediately asked us to turn off our iPhone recorders. For the next few minutes, he gave us a sneak peek into the year ahead — and it’s going to be a busy one for his eponymous brand, which hits the decade mark in 2018.
While we can’t yet reveal some of the major highlights, Birman did confirm — on the record — that he’s opening the label’s first New York store, on Madison Avenue, this year.
The retail expansion comes as Birman ventures into fresh — and somewhat unexpected — territory for fall 2018. “My one goal is to make women feel powerful, and give them the type of shoes that will make a difference,” Birman said. “Although we have some classic, basic silhouettes, for the first time you’re going to see a lot of risks in terms of color and material combinations. You’re going to see some crazy things, but thankfully the reaction has been very good.”
Birman said that as consumers walk department store floors, there is too much sameness. “You have to stand out,” he said. Embellished mules — with distinctive prints and unique material combinations — were a highlight, along with a new series of eye-catching python and zebra-print boots with a custom lining. “I did the last for the lining first, and then another last for the upper,” Birman revealed. “It’s double the work.”
While the designer wanted to tout the diversity in the collection, there was some news with the best-selling Clarita, which will be offered with a fur insole for the first time for fall.
As Birman greeted editors and buyers, an unexpected guest arrived outside the presentation: former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
For more from Alexandre Birman’s fall 2018 presentation, click through the gallery.