Last week Barney’s New York Chicago welcomed footwear and accessory designer Paul Andrew during the Children’s Research Fund shopping fundraiser. This was Mr. Andrew’s first time in Chicago and we certainly hope it won’t be the last.
Before launching his namesake line, British born Paul Andrew honed his skills for over fifteen years creating for brands such as Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. His knowledge in creating shoes for the world’s most discerning and fashionable consumer has helped catapult his brand in the two years since launch to a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2014 Finalist, Accessories Designer of the Year in the 2013 edition of ‘Who is on Next?’ as well as being named Footwear News’ Launch of the Year 2013.
During his visit to Chicago, the super awesome Dee Dee of The SassyPeach had the chance to chat up this rising star in the design world about everything from his CFDA nomination to what influences his brand and more.
TheSassyPeach: You launched your line, named CFDA finalist & Accessories designer of the year, how awesome has that all been?
Paul Andrew: It’s been a whirlwind of an experience. I just got off the plane from Los Angeles, we did the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund show at the Chateau Marmont with the whole
I am just so excited that it has grown this fast this quick. Barneys has been an amazing supporter of mine from the very beginning; they bought the collection from the first season and it keeps getting bigger and better with them and I am so thrilled.
TSP: Of the designers you’ve worked with, which one has influenced your brand the most?
PA: I’ve worked with a lot of different brands from McQueen, Calvin, Narciso Rodriguez and I feel like a little bit of all of those experiences has influenced my collection. Working with Lee (Alexander McQueen) he always pushed you to think majorly outside the box, whereas Calvin was about the sleek minimal aesthetic and he is always so true to his initial idea and see it all the way through.
Donna(Karan) is all about fit and comfort and making the woman feel good.
I draw a lot of inspiration from all of them but really Donna Karan is the one. My shoes are fine elegant looking shoes but my focus is the fit and comfort, its really key for me.
TSP: How did you get involved with CRF?
PA: It was through Barneys. This will be my first time of many times, I hope, that I am supporting them.
TSP: If you could create a sportswear influenced shoe, what would that look like?
PA: I kinda did already, it’s a new shoe in our pre spring collection which will be hitting stores very soon. It’s a continuation of the aesthetic that I’ve created for the brand. It’s more feminine, I’ve used a lot of prints and bright colors to enhance it. There’s actually a four page spread in Harper’s Bazaars’ November issue.
TSP: How was the CFDA/Vogue celebration in LA, we saw a picture of you and Kim Kardashian?
PA: It was really fun, I am so happy to be a part of the fashion fund and it’s opened a lot of doors. The way it’s even brought brand awareness to Paul Andrew, I don’t know that anything else would have done as much as this involvement has.
I’ve done a couple of other projects in the past, in Europe and didn’t bring anywhere near as much brand recognition this has. We are still a baby brand, it’s been only two years but we are still growing.
We can’t wait to see his growth. The winner of the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and two runners up will be named at a dinner in New York in early November.
*Images: Holly max Myrick; Getty images; Vogue