Canadian-born shoe star Patrick Cox is at it again. After an illustrious career that saw him creating shoes for Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and even Elton John, the London-based designer recently inked an ongoing design deal with sportif Italian leather goods label Geox. We spoke with Cox on his new line of dapper shoes (hint: techy-cool brogues), in stores now.
Q: What were some of the British design elements that you wanted to infuse into the Geox collaboration?
A: I wanted to use the Geox technology and Italian construction, then take my strengths and mix the two up. It was all about using more traditional uppers. I’m obsessed with brogues right now, so we made hybrid shoes – something that you would assume would have a traditional sole, we put a funky sneaker sole on it.
Q: Why did you decide it was the right time in fashion to return to footwear design?
A: “For so long women either wore a ballerina by default or were in a six inch platform running down the road. There’s been nothing in between for quite a few years now. That’s why I felt it was the perfect time to do this. In fashion there’s this idea of heritage. Designers are doing collaborations, referring to old brands and working with them. With the shoes, I tried to make something that looked traditional but felt very modern.”
Q: Christian Louboutin has said that the idea of his shoes being comfortable bores him. Would you say your shoes are on the other end of the spectrum?
A: I love going into my girlfriend’s closets and seeing all of these shoes that she’s really never worn because she can’t! I’m a little bit more practical than that. I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s the Canadian in me coming out. I always say that there will never be a retrospective of my work because all of my shoes will be worn out. I still get people coming up to me saying ‘remember these? I bought them in 1998!’ and I say ‘you’re still wearing them?’ It’s a compliment. You don’t have to divorce comfort or style.”
Q: You stopped designing shoes when you sold your business in 2008 and went on to open up a cupcake shop in London. What’s the best part of returning to design?
A: “I didn’t really expect to return to shoes, but after 20 something years, it’s just what I do. That’s what makes me happy – just designing and creating something beautiful.”
Click here to see our spring shoe guide.