You studied footwear design before working at Kurt Geiger. What made you want to start your own label?
I come from a family of business owners, so it seemed a rite of passage to start my own company. I’ve never been particularly good at having someone to report to, and the idea of creating my own designs and creative freedom was always appealing.
How would you describe the Alexander White brand?
Chic, feminine, modern. I like simplicity in design; shoes which are beautiful and aren’t too fussy.
You have an impressive celebrity fan base, from Alicia Vikander to Kylie Jenner and Kelly Rowland. Do you have a specific woman in mind when designing?
I design for strong, fearless women. I want my designs to emotionally appeal to women, and empower them at the same time.
You were one of the four footwear finalists at Vogue Italia’s Who Is On Next 2015 and you won Footwear Designer of the Year at Drapers Footwear Awards 2017. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
Winning the footwear designer of the year last year was incredible, as was participating in WION. However, designing shoes for my sister’s wedding and the shoes for her bridesmaids last year was personally very special for me. Having the ability to create something unique for her special day was an incredible moment for me.
How do you start your creative process?
I always search for something different to start the process, then research and explore that, then abandon that idea and normally get inspired by something random and the collection diverts to a whole new direction. I do enjoy looking at archives for prints and shoes.
Who or what inspires you?
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. However, I do love couture from the 1950s and 1960s. The techniques used are fascinating and translating that to footwear can result in interesting designs.
What has been your most popular shoe style?
Our Issey mule has been successful – it’s an evolution of our paper-bag boot and is effortlessly chic. We’ve also had great success with Brianna, our embroidered mesh pump. It’s super-popular with celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Kelly Rowland and always performs well commercially.
Where do you like to shop in London?
I love Liberty. I think there is something so magical about shopping there. I wanted to study architecture when I was younger, and it really is a stunning building. There are not many shops in the world which are based in such a unique space.
Can you tell us anything about your new collection?
I started the collection with three very different themes and, as the collection developed, two strong, very different themes emerged which have worked well together. I named the collection Disco Cowboy, after those two research points. It’s full of glitter, Swarovski and lamé material with shapes based on cowboy clothing. I’ve also developed a technique I first used for SS18; printing onto specchio (mirror) leather. It’s an incredibly difficult technique and very unusual.
What’s next for Alexander White?
Hopefully some sleep and a holiday. In terms of the brand we are growing and focusing on new territories, as well as establishing our unique voice.