Paul Andrew opens his first pop-up space in London today, on the second floor of Donna Karan’s boutique on Mayfair’s Conduit Street.
Andrew — who worked at Karan’s label for more than a decade and whom he still consults for — said he sees the pop-up as “coming home, in a way.”
“The fact that … [Karan] invited me to take over this space for a couple of months was such an honor, and the fact that it’s in London, and I was born and trained here — it does feel like coming home,” said Andrew, who’s based in New York.
The designer’s presence is vivid: A sketch of his Zenadia pump takes up one of the store’s windows, while his colorful, feminine designs act as pops of color among Karan’s spring looks.
Many of Andrew’s designs are exclusive to the space — such as a hot pink matte patent version of the Zenadia pump, finished with a matte, rather than a shiny lacquer, texture – along with a rose gold and dusty pink version of his Tigrado suede pump.
There are also his Athena gladiator sandal, whose straps run up the calf, and the Zenadia pump in a rainbow of layered suede colors and his Rhea kitten-heel slingback in fuchsia floral brocade. “It’s really given me a taste [for opening a store],” said Andrew of the experience. “I’m really keen to open my own retail stores at this point.”
After his CFDA win last November, 2015 is shaping up to be a busy year for Andrew. He will showcase his fall 2015 collection with a presentation during New York Fashion Week “that’s a little bit more outside the box,” Andrew said. It will have “a show element.”
The designer will also create the shoes for a number of ready-to-wear designers’ fall collections, among them Emilia Wickstead in London, and he’s planning to launch a men’s line “within the next twelve months.”
“I see that there’s a real niche in the market for men’s shoes that are neither too classic nor too fashion-forward,” said Andrew, noting that he’s also planning to launch accessories “within the next three to five years.”
He’s looking to new markets as well.
The designer is just back from a trip to China, where his collections will launch for fall 2015 at Lane Crawford in Shanghai and Beijing, and at Isetan in Tokyo, with the line also scheduled to launch at retailers in Russia.
Asked about reports that luxury appetites are waning in emerging markets such as China and Russia, Andrew said that unlike major luxury labels, which may have seen their rapid growth in those markets slowing, his business in those countries “is totally new for me, so I feel like there’s potential to grow the business,” he said.
Exploring those far-flung locales has fired up Andrew’s imagination. “I was so inspired by my trip to China. I feel like the next collection could certainly have a feeling of Asia,” he said.