Todd Synder On His Cole Haan Collaborations & Love Of James Bond

Menswear designer Todd Snyder has found his footwear match in Cole Haan.  The two have been collaborating on a line of men’s looks since spring ’15, with key look  from the upcoming fall ’15 and spring ’16 collections sent down the runway during Snyder’s New York Fashion Week show this week.

Featured in the show were a big-banded strappy sandal, preppy white oxford and postman-inspired shiny black oxford on a wedge bottom, all with Snyder’s unique spin on classic dressing.

In an exclusive interview with Footwear News, Snyder said the union was a natural one,  since both he and Cole Haan are rooted in American style. Drawing inspiration from a personal Cole Haan shoe wardrobe amassed over 20 years, the designer put his own spin on traditional styles, including a chukka, woven loafer, wingtip oxford and penny loafer.

Todd Snyder Spring '16 Men's
Todd Snyder spring ’16 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

“It’s about going back to my roots,” he said. Snyder was introduced to the brand in the 1980s while working at men’s specialty store Badowers in Des Moines, Iowa, where he then lived. To craft the Cole Haan x Todd Snyder collection, the designer relies on his unique aesthetic and also taps into Cole Haan’s shoemaking expertise.

“I sit down in their design offices and we brainstorm,” he said. “We’re looking at leathers, laces and sole treatments.” His passion for shoes is evidenced in his own closet. “I have more than I have room for,” he said. “The beauty of men’s shoes is they’re an investment and don’t go out of style. And they don’t wear out as long as you take care of them.”

Fashion role model:
“Paul Newman. He looked amazing on the red carpet and looked just as cool on a motorcycle. He had a rugged sensibility.”

Favorite food-delivery service:
“Kitchen Surfing. They send a chef to your house to prepare a meal for two or more at $25 per person. The chef comes with his own pan, then serves.”

Longest friendship:
“My best friend, Matt, since childhood. He and I always dreamed about getting into fashion. I went after it, and he [went] to work for his family’s [business].”

Music I design by:
“The National. It’s my go-to. And The New Order and Morrissey. Those three are on my playlist.”

Last birthday party I attended:
“My daughter Gabi’s, [when she turned 14]. We did a family thing, and she also did something with friends. At this age, they don’t want to hang with dad. He isn’t cool.”

Most-watched movie:
“I love any James Bond movie with Sean Connery. I get a lot of design inspiration from [them].”

In addition to working with Cole Haan, Snyder designs the Todd Snyder x PF Flyers collection.

Todd Snyder Spring '16 Men's
Cole Haan x Todd Snyder Olmstead Postman lace-up shoes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content