Last night, at the very glamorous launch of Brian Atwood‘s collection of exclusive handbags for Gilt Groupe, we sat down with the newly crowned king of the stiletto (sorry, Louboutin) to chat about working with Gilt, Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Oscars dress, and Bethenny Frankel‘s Anderson wardrobe malfunction.
The Chicago-born designer beamed as he showed off his clutch-able wares: the Carla, a cheery envelope style in everything from luxe blue-and-green snakeskin to more subdued suede styles, the Kate, in leopard print pony hair, and two hard case minaudières: the Iside, with its resin, tortoiseshell, and metal inlays, and the Theodora, a gorgeous chevron-patterned style which we may have made off with had it not been safely ensconced in its glass case.
The crowd was effervescent, most teetering on Atwood’s 5-inch platforms and all vying for a chance to congratulate the beloved shoe designer on the collection, including celebrity supporters Michelle Trachtenberg and Shannon Elizabeth. Atwood has garnered quite the impressive following since launching his namesake shoe label in 2001, taking Hollywood by storm with his audacious, artisanal, and unabashedly sexy heels. The collaboration with Gilt is his first foray into handbags, though from the sounds of things it will not be his last.
Read on for our interview with the very charming man of the hour.
So how did this collaboration come together?
Well I think that personally I was always excited about what was going on with Gilt – all these sales and the idea that you only have two hours to purchase this merchandise. I think there was something in my head – I saw that these customers got so excited about having this ability to buy into these brands and I said if we did that at a designer full price level that could be really amazing. They came to Milan several times and we said ‘by the way we’re launching handbags’ and they were all over it. We were like ‘this is a really good partner’ and the rest is history. Really, it happened very quickly.
Your shoes have such a huge celebrity following. If you could have one celebrity carry one of your bags, who would it be and which one?
Oh, that’s a good one. Gwyneth should carry the white enamel one. That would be amazing.
With the Oscars dress?
Yes! That was the dress that I loved. The one I was obsessed with. Beyond.
Speaking of celebrities, we saw Bethenny Frankel on Anderson last week with her Brian Atwood pumps and matching panties. Do you think all women should match their shoes to their lingerie?
Why not? That was hilarious. I tweeted at Bethenny and was like “oh my god, that’s really cute.” They were probably dyed to match.
Are you more of an office person or do you do your designing whenever inspiration hits?
I’m always in the office, but I’m never designing from 9 to 5. I’m designing late, I like it when no one is around and no phones are ringing and just kind of a silent moment with my headphones on and music blaring. I need to focus on what I’m doing. It’s easier for me.
So is it a simpler process at all with handbags rather than shoes?
It’s the same. Actually, it’s even more complicated with handbags, just because there are so many different details. With handbags you have zipper pulls, you have insides, you have pockets, you have this and that – these little details that are so important and that really make the difference with handbags.
Do you think you can get the same sex appeal with a handbag that you get with shoes?
Completely! Definitely. I have to put that intrinsic energy from the shoes and see what that would look like in a handbag.
The bags range between $1,050 and $1,795 and will be on sale exclusively on Gilt Groupe through Sunday, April 1st.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.