Brian Atwood Reveals How He Designed the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Heels

Brian Atwood Reveals How He Designed the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Heels

The footwear designer behind the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows of the past three years dishes on the inspiration behind the shoes he designed for Shanghai.

The footwear designer behind the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows of the past three years dishes on the inspiration behind the shoes he designed for Shanghai.

Text: Jake Viswanath

The annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is set to take place tonight in Shanghai with everyone's favorite Angels staking their claim on the runway. In addition to witnessing a plethora of the industry's heavy-hitting models, none other than Brian Atwood has designed the show's sensual heels for the third year in a row. The famed shoe designer sat down with V to discuss his creative process behind the opulent over-the-knee boots and how the show's locale of Shanghai influenced his designs this year.

Overall, what was your creative process like when designing shoes for the entire VS show?

The process starts with being presented with the themes or stories from Victoria's Secret, then we basically design into those themes thinking about how to create “WOW” shoes, through design and techniques.

With so much going on visually during a show, what was your strategy behind designing footwear that fit the show yet still stood out?

We always want the shoes to stand out and that works best when we play with color, techniques and drama.

Where did you draw inspiration from when designing nearly 22 different styles of shoes?

I drew inspiration from everywhere, from Roman gladiator sandals to Tibetan costumes and African tribes. There was endless inspiration for this show, so many amazing themes.

Were there any specific styles of shoes you used to play up each model’s look/physique?

A show staple is the over-the-knee boot. I mean these girls have the best bodies in the business and have legs for days! The VS show is the perfect fashion show to show off fabulous footwear. The OTK boot also elongates their legs, not that they need it.

There is a big emphasis on boots in this year’s show. What made it the perfect fit for this year? What element do boots add to the looks?

Boots were definitely the look for this show. They definitely do add drama to any look and I think that it gives me more space to create different techniques on the boots in order to make them even more over-the-top.

How did the location of Shanghai influence the shoe designs this year?

Shanghai was a powerful influence in its modernity and need for newness all of the time.

What were your favorite pairs that you designed?

One of my favorite pairs was a laced-up pair that Karlie Kloss wore in the pink section, and also Alessandra Ambrosio‘s African- inspired boots.

Can you talk about some of the embellishments or techniques you used to create each unique pair?

For Karlie’s boots, we used distressed denim to get that pink look and used intricate lacings up the front. This boot was a nightmare to fit and get right, but once we did it looked amazing. On Alessandra’s boot, hers was a mixture of inlayed suede techniques and different beaded and feather details.

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