When I decided to interview Alexander White, I never thought it would happen. Alexander White (@alexanderwhite) is a young talented man who, in an handful of years, built up a brand. As every other personality, Alexander is closer to extraordinary than ordinary, his shoes, decadent, playful and luxurious, are sported by the stylish. Carey Mulligan and Alicia Vikander, for a start, but the list is much longer. Not bad for a boy who worked for Erdem and Giles Deacon, has been supported by Franca Sozzani, and is not afraid to fail. Alexander planned to be an Architect but, thank God, he turned to fashion. During college he was able to see the sinergy between architecture and footwear and this connection marked his path. Deeply English, but with some Italian ties, each shoe is designed in London but lovingly handmade in Italy, Alexander is well balanced between the Anglo-Saxon pragmatism and our twisted approach to life. Influenced by his surroundings, from design to antique jewellery, he has been able to interpret the everyday in a vibrant and energetic way, making every woman feel special.
Goodmorning Alexander, I’m really very happy to have the chance to talk to you. First of all, I’m a shoeaholic, I have around 100 pairs of shoes in my closet, any advice to recover from this addiction?
No, buy more!
Why you decided to focus your career on shoes?
During University, I studied fashion design and became interested in accessories. However, I’ve always had an interest in architecture, and I thought I would go on to study that. I saw the the synergy between shoes and architecture – both are structural and no matter how beautiful either of them are, if there is no structure then it fails it’s purpose and becomes redundant.
It could be an odd interview, but I would like people can understand who truly is Alexander White. I’ve always thought you can’t admire an imaginative person if you don’t understand him in depth. Let’s talk about young Alexander, have you always knew you were cut out for fashion?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion and style. When I was younger, I would make sure my socks matched my outfits – things like that. I thought I would go into architecture due to my interest in design but after realizing its parallels with fashion I decided to go in that direction.
What about your parents? Did they support you? I still remember when mine found out I’d never been a doctor but a journalist… My father didn’t talk to me for a month.
My parents actually told people I was studying fine art for three years. My father had expected me to go into the family business, however, my heart wasn’t in it. Once I started my own business, they saw my ability and began supporting me. Now, they are my biggest fans.
Let’s talk about your last collection. Which is the main trend?
The latest collection, Spring/Summer 2018, has a lot of metallic hues with pops of vibrant fuchsia and pale blue. Floral prints and contrasting textures were played with, as well as bringing back more ruffles. This season’s main trend came from the way we did our prints in a small factory in Italy, where they printed the floral prints onto mirrored leather; a technique not done before.
Inspiration come from…
I’m inspired by so many things, one of my main fascinations at the moment is Joe Cruz, an amazing artist that uses lots of vibrant colours.
Do you usually follow fixed steps to create a collection?
Yes and no – certain things have to be done. For example. Every range has to be balanced, however, inspiration changes every season. I am always exploring new ideas and possibilities.
Accessories can dramatically change a look, for better or for worse. Which is your style advice?
Buy nice shoes, life is to short to wear cheap shoes. Invest in something that isn’t going to go out of date too quickly, something a little timeless but that you can wear often. Always consider quality of a product, not just the name. If they’re painful when you’re trying them on, I wouldn’t buy them as they won’t bring you joy and they’ll probably never leave your wardrobe.
Is there any iconic piece in your last collection?
One of my favourites this season is the Mara boot in silver metallic leather. We used this technique where we digital printed onto the leather, that has never been done before.
High heels or flat shoes?
A woman wearing an horrible dress but wonderful shoes is…
Despite your age you have won tons of prizes, established your own brand and do what you like to do. What a lucky man! Have you ever be afraid to fail?
No, in my opinion failure is a positive thing that eventually leads to success. I’ve found that you learn a lot every time you fail, so it would be hard to really succeed without failing at some point.
Alexander White’s first rule to succeed…
Pay attention, be persistent and focus.
What are your plans for the next future?
Naturally, we are permanently looking on expanding the business in terms of sales and awareness. We are also currently working hard on the Spring/Summer 2019 collection. There is a very exciting project in the pipeline however it’s too early to talk about.
One more question… How many shoes do you have?
Ironically, I dislike buying and wearing shoes. I love walking around barefoot, and I only have about 15 pairs of shoes.