Paul Andrew is entering the men’s realm. For the fall ’16 season, the footwear designer will unveil his brand new men’s collection, which will serve as an extension of his already-booming women’s line.
The men’s offering will be produced in Italy, and ranges from $595 to $1,295. It holds four different themes including Sport low-top and high-top sneakers, Rebel chelsea boots and monkstraps, Classic Twist brogue boots and Evening slippers and lace-ups.
Having spent several years designing men’s shoes at Alexander McQueen and Calvin Klein, Andrew’s progression into menswear isn’t totally out of left field. The designer felt it was a natural next step in growing the presence of his brand.
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“Launching men’s shoes for my own brand was always the plan, it was only a matter of time,” said Andrew. “Finding the the right manufacturing partner, and the right season — I just needed all those elements to be aligned so that I felt I was entering the market in a meaningful way.”
Though no retailers are confirmed for the men’s line yet, one can assume Andrew’s current retailers — which include Nordstrom, Barneys New York and Net-a-porter — will express interest.
Women’s footwear brands are increasingly tapping into the men’s market, and with successful results. Considering the men’s growth from high-end bigwigs like Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik, not to mention more contemporary brands like Aquatalia, labels are tapping into a renewed interest in men’s shoes — much thanks to more daring runway trends and riskier retail buys.
This past year, Andrew was nominated for the 2015 Swarovski Award for Accessory Design award at the CFDAS.
Below, we ask Andrew some key questions on the launch:
Why was this the right time to launch men’s?
A: “In the past several years, I’ve identified a major niche in the market for men’s footwear that can be easily paired with current ready-to-wear trends — something that’s neither too classic, nor over-designed. These shoes are for the creative, professional men who has an eye toward fashion, but doesn’t necessarily follow trends.”
Describe the collection and what sets it apart?
A: “The shoes are clean, simple, and elegant with small twists in the details, which make the silhouettes feel fresh and relevant, yet extremely comfortable. In designing this collection I became obsessive about the lasts and materials — the shapes are sleek, yet built for comfort, performance, and style. You’ll see that the collection is rather streamlined, there’s no studs or crazily exaggerated surface embellishment. I was more interested in the interplay of form and function and interesting textures — tejus lizard and polished spazzolato, heavy grain buffalo, scotch grain, calf suede and soft patent leather all make an appearance.”
Describe your male customer in 3 words.
A: “He’s confident, intelligent and discerning.”
Was the process of designing for men different than women?
A: “It’s completely different from an aesthetic point of view, but the ethos is the same. My brand was built on the idea of chic, elegant, refined footwear, with engineering, fit, and comfort at the heart of every design. The Paul Andrew man maybe more subdued when it comes to colors and prints, but his values are the same as his female counterpart: these are powerful, confident people who enjoy fashion and design.”
Any dream celebrity clients you could see in the shoes?
A: “I think Eddie Redmayne has great style and would look great in the shoes.”