Exclusive Interview: Brian Atwood Talks Cinemagraphic Voyeurism, Olivia Newton John and Nike Kicks

Photo: Patrick McMullan
Brian Atwood.

With his first store launch (at 655 Madison Avenue on October 5th), revamped website, racy ad campaign controversy and plans for a fashion empire beyond his iconic heel, shoe guru Brian Atwood is a very busy man these days.

The footwear frontrunner recently expanded to handbags and sold a majority of his label to the Jones Group in hopes of boosting its global profile and eventually branching out to the jewelry and apparel categories.

Taking some time away from his pump-packed schedule, the celebrity-adored designer talked to FashionEtc about his design process, first role model, dream collaboration and some of his favorite things, including a glass of Rosé and the Maldive Islands.

Plus, check out the exclusive video from the designer's Fashion Week party celebrating his new Candice Swanepoel campaign and Fall store opening below.

What was the inspiration/ thought process behind your recent racy ad campaign with Candice Swanepoel?

I’ve always been about the glamour and sexy part of dressing women and I loved exploring the allure of sexual submission and cinemagraphic voyeurism. The campaign so perfectly captured the essence of seduction, mystery, drama, and the lust of glamour.

Photo courtesy of Brian Atwood

Candice Swanepoel in Brian Atwood's first fashion campaign.

Who was your first role model and muse?

Olivia Newton John in Grease

What is your favorite meal?

Dinner with a great glass of Rosé.

What is your dream collaboration?

Anything with James Turrell.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Colin Farrell

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A rock star or an architect

What was your first most memorable pair of shoes?

Nike gym shoes

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What is your favorite place in the world?


What was your biggest challenge while building your business?

Never enough time in the day.

What celeb would you be most excited to see wearing your shoes?

Marilyn Monroe or Lana Turner. I love old and new Hollywood.

What are you working on now?

About to fly back to Milan and present the new Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Have you ever walked in your heels?

They are too small for me.

Have you picked up any comedic tips from your friend Melissa McCarthy?

I leave that to her—she is a master at it. I stick to what I do best!