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Shoe Revolution: Excessive Tech Meets Excessive Craft

When Paul Andrew announced in New York last week that he would launch a specialist line of sneakers as part of the Paris Men’s present, it seemed like one other step forward for the designer of fashionable footwear.

This shoe man has already been nominated Accessory Designer of the Year for today’s CFDA Awards. And now, the British-born, New York-primarily based designer is including yet one more string to his bow. He has already launched a line of modernised basic men’s footwear. Now, working with actor Ansel Elgort, son of legendary photographer Arthur Elgort, the sneakers are set to be another vogue attraction.

The present circulate of excellent news started along with his appointment last year as Women’s Footwear Design Director at Salvatore Ferragamo. It seemed to be the pinnacle of a profession built over two decades, because the designer labored for Calvin Klein and Alexander McQueen after which constructed a line of his own in 2012. This has continued during the relationship with the Florence-based empire, founded in 1927.

Picture Credit: Paul Andrew. Followers of Paul Andrew’s footwear embody, from left, barrister Amal Clooney (pictured with husband George), and actresses Jessica Chastain and Michelle Dockery.

“They have had an awesome many individuals in the corporate designing their collections, however I’m the first named designer since Salvatore handed away (in 1960),” said Paul Andrew, whose velvet bootees in vivid colours, or traditional flats with “Ferragamo” engraved on a silver buckle are a long way from sneakers. However that doesn’t imply that stretch boots with a wide range of geometric patterns are usually not carrying some of the virtues of sports activities footwear.

“This is state-of-the-art technology – high tech meets high craft,” the designer said, explaining simply what the Ferragamo footwear is carrying inside.

“We completely revolutionised the measurements and the fit with almost each shoe that’s in the collection, changing the length of the arch and the amount of the toe box,” he continued. “And one of crucial things was that I added to each single shoe a reminiscence foam, so that it truly cups around the ball of your foot.”

The first reside appearance of the new Ferragamo footwear, which has been slow to look in stores worldwide, was for the show in Milan in March. That was at a joint launch with Ferragamo’s Head of Womenswear, designer Fulvio Rigoni.

Image Credit score: Paul Andrew at his presentation for Salvatore Ferragamo, Autumn/Winter 2017

However having had the prospect to see Paul Andrew’s work up shut, it appears to be like like both a technical revolution and a return to the spirit that’s a part of the Salvatore legacy. The brand new designer shoe has re-defined the graphic “F” heel-curve for velvet or suede footwear and boots, following the “F” as tribute to the Ferragamo title.

Different footwear, though still vivid in color, have extra conventional funnel heels or are connected to an online of shiny leather straps. The heels are galvanised using the identical process as for a automobile end; whereas others have grosgrain added, in a reference to Salvatore’s “shoe sock” of the thirties. Yet one more end is the tremendous-matte-black impact borrowed from the surface remedy of Mercedes cars.

Paul Andrew is fast to reference the Ferragamo founder and his visionary work. He describes how Salvatore visited Japan within the 1930s and “actually went to Tokyo and saw the geishas sporting socks with their sandals”. Andrew’s response was to create tech-knit sneakers and malleable ankle boots.

“So this was primarily based on the silhouette originally created, but twisted a bit extra on a high heel,” the designer continued. “You’ll see that there isn’t any stitching on the shoes. I drew a pattern that was digitally copied, then we constructed a mould. Then we laid down the lining, then a layer of padding, then the suede. Th laser cuts by itself and the edges are heat-sealed. You can do it in fabric, velvet – something.”

So what’s the distinction between working for Ferragamo and creating his personal-label shoes They are going to now embody the but-to-be-seen sneakers, which had been announced at a lunch held in New York by magnificence model Jo Malone.

“Well, I try to place a unique hat on for different manufacturers. There may be an aesthetic difference between both,” Paul Andrew mentioned. “This is unquestionably extra superior as a result of that was the way that Salvatore was considering.”

Picture Credit: Paul Andrew. Paul Andrew (left) has introduced a sneaker collaboration with actor Ansel Elgort (proper), pictured here with Elgort’s girlfriend, the dancer Violetta Komyshan. Jo Malone London hosted the occasion

The designer’s personal collections, assorted and detailed, tend to have a theme. For instance in 2016, Istanbul was the topic, producing footwear rich in embroidery and colouring. The display in Paul Andrew’s showroom in February was impressed by the African wood and marble sculptures of the Modernist artist Constantin Brancusi, interpreted as sneakers with column-formed resin heels and leather-based handled to appear like wood. Others have been in python, solid with metallic foil and hand-woven brocade.


Paul Andrew seems unique in the brand new generation of designers in his fascination not solely with form, but in addition with texture. That is absolutely inherited from his father, who was an upholsterer for the British royal family. Now his son is fast turning into the 21st-century’s king of shoes.