Of the materials used in Paul Andrew’s spring 2019 collection, there are usual suspects like suede and elaphe, alongside a peculiar and creative new addition: sea shells. The designer’s abalone heels are one of his favorites of the line, featuring a uniquely designed wedge heel in the likeness of a shark fin.
“The arch is a very different inclination and length to anyone else’s in the market and I’ve done this through a series of tests and a lot of work on the computer and digitally manifesting this to get it right,” Andrew said as he described the shoe.
While the beach-inspired style is a star player in the assortment, Meghan Markle’s go-to pumps were also on display and not to be outdone. Dubbed the “Pump It Up,” the famous heels are a modernized take on Andrew’s classic Nadia pump and will be offered in plenty of colors, including red, yellow, black and cream. Meanwhile, metallic platforms, knotted slides, colorful slingbacks and tie-up sandals diversified the silhouettes in the range.
FN caught up with the designer at his presentation who shared more details about infusing new technology into his footwear, the Meghan Markle impact on his brand and predicted best-sellers. Read below for the full interview.
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Why do you choose to show your collection in New York over any of the other fashion week cities?
Paul Andrew: “My brand is based in New York City, and I think that there’s not really another shoe designer designing product of this interest level and presenting it in such a way. So we have a stronger voice here perhaps than we might in other cities — if I may be so bold to say.”
What style do you think will be a best seller?
PA: “Hopefully a couple of shoes but we’ve been so fortunate to dress Meghan Markle a number of times in recent weeks and she’s been wearing this pump that is displayed in the hallway so this is sort of new to the market for us this season. The retailers that have passed through have already been very confident about it because also the press from [Markle] has helped. There’s also new evolutions on my classic sling-back, in this new triple-dyed suede, which I also heard is very well appreciated.”
What are some of your favorite styles this season?
PA: “In terms of fashion, I was really thinking the market is so flooded with product right now, so what can I do and offer that a woman does not already have? I started thinking back to my roots when I started the brand six years ago and [had] the idea of combining state of the art technology and innovation mixed with the best in Italian craftsmanship and that’s how a lot of these shoes were conjured up. For example, this wedge right here — the wedge itself is like a shark fin. It’s super narrow on the back side down to 1 millimeter, so the wedge itself has to be constructed in plastic with a metal interior so it doesn’t break. But then the abalone shell is all hand cut and applied piece by piece by hand. Then, the upper itself is all handwoven with nappa straps and the construction of the shoe is developed with crazy technology so there’s padding with memory foam inside the shoe. When you [put on] the shoe it’s the perfect volume between the ball of your foot and the toes so the straps are in the right place.”
Meghan Markle has worn your shoes a lot. What kind of impact has this had?
PA: “It’s interesting because our classic slingback — which is somewhat related to the shoes she’s been wearing — has seen a slight increase in growth, but we don’t really have those sort of shoes in the market yet, which is why I focused my attention this season on sort of going back to my roots and producing refined, sexy elegant shoes that resonate with what she’s been wearing but also feel right for fashion right now.”
Click through the gallery to see the collection.
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