Famous shoe designer Brian Atwood was recently in Istanbul, signing the bottoms of his shoes for clients at Harvey Nichols. The sneaker lover told us about his killer heeled shoes.

FASHION&TRAVEL Is there a celebrity that hasn’t yet worn one of your designs that you’d love to see wearing them?
BRIAN ATWOOD Kate Middleton hasn’t worn them yet… Would be great to see her in ba’s.

F&T There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without celebrities wearing one of your designs. Is it still exciting to see a celebrity in your shoes?
BA Always? I still get excited and I am humbled when anyone wears my shoes… Celebrity or non-celebrity, it doesn’t really matter for me. It means i am doing a good Job.

F&T Can you tell us about your Winter Collection?
BA I combined giaphic Images and colors with textures. This season Is all about fringe boots for me. We still have the platform but there are a lot of single sole shoes in the collection.

F&T If you could pick one favorite from your current collection, what would it be?
BA My favorite style from fall 2014 collection is my optical fringe boot “llndy”. I have never seen such a cool fringed boot. Another choke would be the Genie sandal wtth fur ponpons.

F&T What do you think is important for up and coming shoe designers to keep in mind in order to be successful?
BA Stay true to yourself and style and don’t be afraid of the word “commercial’*. Both creativity and commercial can live together.

FM What components are absolutely necessary for a sexy shoe?
BA Toe cleavage and a drop dead gorgeous silhouette.

F&T What do you think about the other shoe designers like Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti and Manolo Blahnik for example?
BA Manolo is great! Such a gentleman and Guiseppe Is a very nice guy.

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F&T Do you plan on expanding into men’s shoes like Louboutin?
BA I think the potential in men’s shoes Is huge and i am absolu tely looking into that possibility. I also think that I may have a handbag collection soon. We do make some special order bags now, mostly clutches but that’s all.

F&T What kind of shoes do you wear?
BA Sneakers! All kinds from stan smith to valentino, tom ford, gi- venchy etc. I love them. I just bought a pair of Valentino sneakers. If I’m not wearing sneakers, that means I am in loafers. I like tie- ups with a twist. The twist can be the color, like a pair in a bright color.

F&T Did you ever try to wear high heels?
BA Actually yes. One year for Halloween I wore high heels the whole night. They were too small for me so I couldn’t feel my toes for five days afterwards.

F&T You are well known for your killer heels, like the “Maniac”. What do you think about flats?
BA I love flats! But stores always buy high heels from me. There are some kitten heeled shoes in my fall collection, that you can take a look at in harvey nichols İstanbul.

F&T What do you think about high heels?
BA I love them! Nothing is sexier. It’s all about silhoutte and proportion. A shoe must have the right proportion; an elegant and sophisticated proportion and the right toe cleavage.

F&T Women who wear your pumps swear that they are supercomfortable. Is that even possible?
BA I must admit that I go for the aesthetics first. Forme it’s the exciting part but when you know that women sometimes wear them for eight hours or longer, you have to make them comfortable. We work with a foot model while designing the shoes. Sometimes we let her keep the shoes and run around in them for a week. And then she tells us where it hurts and we work on the pressure points.

F&T What can you say about the shoe trends?
BA I Don’t Follow Trends, I Create Them. I Strongly Believe In Shoes That Are Classic With A Twist. I love the exotic. I also love to mix up textures and color.

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F&T Why shoes?
BA I studied architecture. After modeling for years, I started with designing clothes. In 1996 Gianni Versace hired me. Later I became the head designer of accessories at Versace. I like building things. Right now the shoes build the outfit. You can get away with an H&M dress if you are wearing beautiful statement shoes. Your shoes are the foundation of your outfit.

F&T What you would be if you were’nt a shoe designer?
BA Rock star or an architect.

F&T Have you ever been in Turkey before? What do you think about your Turkish customers?
BA I love turkey! It’s such a special place! It’s like my new los ange- les! We opened a shop in shop in harvey nichols in İstanbul. This is my fifth time in İstanbul and 1 have also been to cappadocia, 1 took the balloon ride there. It was magnificient; a little scary but mag- nificient. I am totally fascinated by the turkish hammam. I can’t get enough of it. İ hear that i should visit bodrum. Every summer in august for my birthday 1 go to greece, maybe i should come to turkey instead one year, i’m sure i will love it.

F&T What do you think about turkish women?
BA They are chic and have great energy!!

F&T Do you know any turkish designers?
BA I know ümit benan he is a great guy and a fabulous designer.

F&T Can you also tell us about your spring 2015 collection?
BA The collection is about mixing prints. It has a Mexican feeling. A lot of ikat designs, mixed with different colors. And in collaboration with Donald, who made illustrations of my shoes, we created a lip print. Very pop-art. It was a project I was very excited to do where art and fashion came together. And we turned it into a social responsibility project. We sold the illustrations for the benefit of Multiple-Sclorosis Society.

F&T Do you like living in Milan?
BA I love Italy. I am very inspired there. My design studio is in Milan. I go back and forth between New York and Milan. I can say that I spend 60 percent of my time in New York. It’s my home, I moved there in 1989 when I graduated from college. I would ne- ver give up the European or the New York aspect of my life.

F&T Why shoes?
BA I studied architecture. After modeling for years, I started with designing clothes. In 1996 Gianni Versace hired me. Later I became the head designer of accessories at Versace. I like building things. Right now the shoes build the outfit. You can get away with an H&M dress if you are wearing beautiful statement shoes. Your shoes are the foundation of your outfit.

F&T What you would be if you were’nt a shoe designer?
BA Rock star or an architect.

F&T Have you ever been in Turkey before? What do you think about your Turkish customers?
BA I love turkey! It’s such a special place! It’s like my new los ange- les! We opened a shop in shop in harvey nichols in İstanbul. This is my fifth time in İstanbul and 1 have also been to cappadocia, 1 took the balloon ride there. It was magnificient; a little scary but mag- nificient. I am totally fascinated by the turkish hammam. I can’t get enough of it. İ hear that i should visit bodrum. Every summer in august for my birthday 1 go to greece, maybe i should come to turkey instead one year, i’m sure i will love it.

F&T What do you think about turkish women?
BA They are chic and have great energy!!

F&T Do you know any turkish designers?
BA I know ümit benan he is a great guy and a fabulous designer.

F&T Can you also tell us about your spring 2015 collection?
BA The collection is about mixing prints. It has a Mexican feeling. A lot of ikat designs, mixed with different colors. And in collaboration with Donald, who made illustrations of my shoes, we created a lip print. Very pop-art. It was a project I was very excited to do where art and fashion came together. And we turned it into a social responsibility project. We sold the illustrations for the benefit of Multiple-Sclorosis Society.

F&T Do you like living in Milan?
BA I love Italy. I am very inspired there. My design studio is in Milan. I go back and forth between New York and Milan. I can say that I spend 60 percent of my time in New York. It’s my home, I moved there in 1989 when I graduated from college. I would ne- ver give up the European or the New York aspect of my life.

Leyla Melek
Illustrations by Donald Drawbertson
Photograph of Brian Atwood by Deniz Uğur Güler