Brian Atwood attracted a devoted, almost cult-like following for his namesake collection of pumps and boots when he launched the label in 2001.
Atwood’s shoes are known for their “Cinderella Factor” – what he calls the instantaneous transformation that occurs on a woman’s face as she slides her foot into one of his shoes. His journey to where he is now has been interesting one that’s for sure!
Atwood grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago admiring his mother’s wardrobe. He went on to study art and architecture at Southern Illinois University and then clothing at F.I.T. in New York. After school, he headed off to Europe where he began a successful career in modeling. After his foot was in the fashion door he returned to his dream of designing and in 1996 Atwood was the first American to be hired by Gianni Versace in Milan.
He started out designing the company’s Versus line, and was shortly promoted to chief designer for women’s accessories. This is where he mastered the intricacies of shoe design. Atwood uses a number of different materials for his designs – leather, suede, crocodile skins, silk, crepe de chine, taffeta and interesting treatments such as laser-cut lace, pleating or embroidery. For his Fall 2002 collection. one of his stilettos came in bleached frog skin with hand -painted gold and silver spots and a jeweled brooch. Delicious.