Tali Lennox, Freida Pinto and Charlotte Dellal stopped by to survey the new Mount Street shop, a shrine to Kirkwood’s award-winning shoes.
‘There’s such a difference between having your own store and being sold into other stores,’ Kirkwood told us ahead of opening day. ‘Since we don’t have a seasonal show, creating an environment around the shoes is just the best way to put a brand message across. And it’s been so exciting seeing the concept I had in mind come together.’
His brand’s new home is a grade-two listed building on Mount Street, where it rubs shoulders with neighbours such as Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Marc Jacobs. Gleaming white shelves display futuristic shoe styles from Kirkwood’s S/S ’11 range and selections from his runway collections for Rodarte, Erdem and Peter Pilotto. A smattering of Kirkwood’s Swarovski jewellery adds sparkle.
Besides the geometric shelving, the biggest departure from standard shoe stores is under foot. Forget about the new-shoes-on-carpet-only rule—this store has artist-designed hardwood floors. ‘I hate carpet in shoe stores! Heels always dig into the carpet, and then it looks like they don’t stand straight,’ Kirkwood explained.
The new building also houses Kirkwood’s design studio and business office, and the designer said he’s looking forward to seeking feedback from clients as they shop. So, might a casual visitor find him lurking behind the till, keeping a discreet eye on his well-heeled customers?
‘I’ll probably put on a pair of glasses and pretend I’m the shop assistant... you never know!’