Zac Posen has strong opinions when it comes to shoes.
“I’m obsessed with perfect quality,” said the exacting designer during the presentation of his new shoe collection at Soho’s Laduree in New York City. The initial pre-fall ’17 offering and subsequent collections are produced by veteran shoemaker Stefano Maroni in Italy.
The collection features 18 styles that run the gamut and include evening stilettos with elasticized suede strapping, brocade boots, pumps with his beloved folded detail at the heel, plus a series of lower heels and even almond-toe flats.
“I love to propose a flat shoe for evening on the runway. Truly chic women get it,” Posen says. Footwear News quickly caught up with the busy designer, who between his signature collection Zac Zac Posen line and duties as creative director at Brooks Brothers, oversees a staggering 17 collections a year, to hear more about his distinct shoe point of view.
Footwear News: What was the starting point for this collection?
Zac Posen: “It always about seeing with a partner the ability of make — how to take signature elements of our brand, which have to do with construction, lines that play with the body and form that you see in our ready-to-wear. I like to carry that over into the shoes. It’s subtle but I’m drawn to flattering shapes and sculptural elements.”
FN: What were some of the challenges with this first offering?
ZP: “It was a fast collection. I didn’t get to go to Italy this round because of the timing. We wanted to bring some of the fashion elements of my work into these shoes and as we go forward, some more of the more experimental runway elements.”
FN: What are your assets when it comes to designing shoes?
ZP: “Because of all my other work, I’ve had to become good at making quick decisive decisions.”
FN: How do you know you are making the right decisions when moving so fast?
ZP: “Well my favorite boots in the collection, this [embroidered fabric] block heel were already ordered by Alexa Chung and Anna Sui. I was really happy with how this came out, it’s a wearable heel height, too.”
FN: What to you in the ultimate sign of a well-made shoe?
ZP: “When I’m in a department store, I always walk around and do a quality shoe wobble. That’s how I test the balance of a heel. This collection is really beautifully balanced. It has to be able to have recovery [when you wobble it]. That is key.”
Click through the gallery below to see more styles.