This Is What It Takes to Build a Nicholas Kirkwood Shoe

It’s easy to get lost in an “omg shoes!” moment and forget the architectural skill that goes into creating objects worthy of such obsession. Nicholas Kirkwood’s new “Arcs of Orbit” video reminds us to pause and note the insane “architectural and graphic elements…movement through scale, proportion, curvilinear sculptural forms, and contemporary materials,” all of which influenced the creative narrative behind the ‘Arcs of Orbit’ Autumn Winter 2014 collection.

In a flurry of movement way less than a minute long, a shoe is born. Watch the video here:





The Greatest Keith Haring Fashion Collaborations, Ever

Keith Haring would have been 54 years old today. Although the legendary ’80s street artist and social activist is no longer with us (he died at 31 on February 16, 1990) there’s no doubt that his iconic graffiti art lives on. His influence hasn’t only touched the street art world; a handful of fashion designers have also worked with the Keith Haring Foundation to salute Haring by turning his signatures symbols like "The Radiant Baby" into wearable art. From Jeremy Scott to Nicholas Kirkwood, here’s a roundup of some of our favorites.

1. Schott x Jeremy Scott "Perfecto" Jacket: Back in 2009, outre designer Jeremy Scott teamed up with motorcycle jacket master Irving Schott to reimagine his classic moto leather by gracing it with one of Haring’s timeless all-over prints. The now sold-out jacket (sorry guys) has been rocked by Rihanna, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West, among many others.


2. Joyrich x Keith Haring Capsule Collection: For summer 2011, the cult streetwear label and boutique teamed up with the Keith Haring Foundation to release a tote bag, backpack and sunglasses that featured Haring’s eye-catching prints in red, white, blue and yellow. Lil’ Wayne also donned pieces from this collab on stage. See more here.

3. Keith Haring by Patricia Field: This might be one of the most globally-recognized designer/Haring collaborations. In 2010, the iconic Field partnered with the Foundation to produce a crazy-amazing selection of Haring-centric apparel, accessories and jewelry. The coolest part, all pieces are still up for purchase (at practical price points, no less) right this way! We dig the Three-Eyed Face silk scarf, above.

4. Nicholas Kirkwood x Keith Haring Footwear: Like we said back in 2011, this collab was a match made in pop art heaven. The British footwear architect’s inventive shapes complemented Haring’s bold motifs perfectly. See more from this exciting collection here

Honorable mention: We couldn’t complete this list without applauding Levi’s tribute last year with the limited-edition release of their Haring-ified trucker jacket at LA’s MOCA. The jacket, which features Haring’s all-over print in red, was produced in conjunction with the museum’s massively popular Art In the Streets exhibit.

Photos via Jeremy Scott, Joyrich, Black Frame, Patricia Field.

A Closer Look at Nicholas Kirkwood’s Spring Footwear

Given the success of his footwear collaborations with the likes of Rodarte, Erdem, Prabal Gurung, and Keith Haring, it goes without saying that any shoe Nicholas Kirkwood touches turns to gold. Magic flows through his namesake collections as well–especially in his latest range for SS12. The garden-infused footwear blends bold prints and feminine details with a splash of the designer’s signature futurism. Take a peek at our favorites.

image This shoe must be a wink to the Kirkwood x Haring range.

image We’re obsessed with the engineered prints and off-kilter heel on this one.

image Iridescent material gives this design that futuristic-edge. image The range may be for spring, but we wouldn’t mind giving this festive heel a go at a few holiday parties.

image The perfect nod to fashion’s flat footwear trend.

Behold the Nicholas Kirkwood x Keith Haring Collaboration

In a match made in pop-art heaven, British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood has linked with The Keith Haring Foundation to debut a line of footwear inspired by the ’80s street-culture icon’s pioneering artwork. While previously exclusive to the Joyce boutique in Hong Kong, the range is now available until July 1 at the designer’s newly-opened retail space on Mount Street in London.

A pioneer in her own right, innovative fashion blogger Susie Lau (better known as Susie Bubble) stopped by the space to take some snaps of the designs, like thee open-toe booties above.


“Kirkwood has taken motifs from Haring’s work and applied them onto an array of exaggerated shoe shapes that hark back to his pre-occupation with sculpturally challenging footwear,” says Lau. Seeing Kirkwood’s architectural genius mashed-up with Haring’s classic “Safe Sex” and “Radiant Baby” images is a fashion moment you know will be referenced for years to come.


See more photos here, and watch a neat film on the collab here.

Green Step

Editors worldwide are going kind of nuts over the return of boldness and color on the runways (did color ever really leave?). Either way, I decided to do a little skimming for my favorite Spring/Summer 2011 shoes, but with a myopic focus: said shoes had to contain some element of the color green. Why? ‘Cause it’s my favorite color. While none are available quite yet, at least this mini-guide will give you a sense of what to wish/save for should vert also be your tone of choice—seafoam is totally the new black. In a niche world once briefly dominated by a man whose last name starts with L and ends in –ouboutin (yet has now sadly gone the way of t acky), a couple of players stand at the ready to fill the role of trendy “it” shoe designer. My prediction? Brit Nicholas Kirkwood. Already well on his way to attaining cult/obsession/freak-out status, Kirkwood makes wild and pretty shoes for wild and pretty people. Look at this blue-green platform. Appreciate its teetering height and its aerodynamic lines. While Kirkwood may not have as obvious a signature as a bright red sole, those who know his designs can spot them from miles and miles away. Kirkwood is sold at Jeffrey New York.


Italian provocation via Miu Miu is forever appreciated in my book, and I will respect you immensely if you can pull these heels off. In a collection rife with pop elements and all kinds of Miuccia Prada headiness, it will take a certain amount of eccentricity to wear these effectively. If you can’t muster it, these stripey heels are just awesome to gaze at. Contact Miu Miu in Soho.


Where would American fashion design be in 2010 without Alexander Wang? Though his S/S 2011 collection was arguably not his best, the shoes are sure to be sell-outs as usual. For example, this army-drab cutout chunky boot has all the essential Wang elements that skinny androgynous city girls craze over. With an eponymous store in the works, you’ll soon be able to get your Alex fill in one stop. For now, contact Barneys or Opening Ceremony.

Most Wanted: Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem Hiking Boot

All hail Nicholas Kirkwood. For Fall 2010, the mega-talented shoe designer turned out another hit collaboration—this time with Erdem, the exciting London line backed by Erdem Moralioglu. With Kirkwood’s knack for designing out-of-the-box footwear and Erdem’s signature 3D psychedelic prints, it’s no surprise that this meeting of the minds produced a boot that doubles as a work of art.

I love that they stayed true to the classic hiking boot style, with padded ankle support, a ridged rubber sole, and round-toe cap, but added smart touches like antiqued hardware and bright laces. And the silk “flutter” fabric completely seals the deal. I mean, who wouldn’t want to upholster her entire wardrobe in this rad print? Buy the boots here.

The New Regime: Nicholas Kirkwood

Adieu kitten heels — hello Batman wings. Having just designed for the likes of Basso & Brooke, Tommy Hilfiger and 3.1 Phillip Lim’s 2008 runway shows, and now currently overhauling Pollini, Nicholas Kirkwood is on a roll. The London shoe architect has caught the attention of stiletto heavyweights the world over, including one self-described “despotic queen of shoes,” a blogger who has threatened to maim and kill for his power-woman designs. And still, when asked for the biggest compliment he’s received so far, Kirkwood laughs bashfully and takes ages to muster up an answer: “People say they’re quite comfortable. Which is good, because they’re kind of high.”

Try telling that to Abbey Lee Kershaw. The model wobbled down the Rodarte runway last fall, like a toddler in her mom’s high heels, before wiping out — thanks to Kirkwood’s stiletto/wedge hybrid. “I feel slightly sorry when that kind of thing happens,” he says. “Maybe I should just do rubber soles from now on.” Has he ever tried walking in his own designs? “I’m a size 9. Maybe if I got really drunk one night, I could hang one shoe off the end of my big toe.”

Photo: Ben Morris