Whether Nicholas Kirkwood is designing under his own label or collaborating on footwear styles with designers such as Rodarte, Prabal Gurung, Peter Pilotto and Erdem, his killer heels are often architectural—and always vertiginous. “Part of the reason I went into shoemaking is that I really can’t stand kitten heels,” says Kirkwood, who is also creative director for the classic Italian label Pollini. “It was a sea of pointy, kitten-heeled mules—everything I hated about shoes. Even the name ‘kitten heel’ makes me cringe.”

Current inspiration
“Pop art—the humour, the social commentary it offers—is something I’ve always loved, like Warhol and colours.”

“Air Miles and parking tickets.”

Comfort food
“Pizza—but the flavour depends on where I am. In America, it’s pepperoni; in Italy, probably garlic prawns.”

“Animal Collective, The XX. And I love Depeche Mode.”

Saved searches
“I’m moving into a new apartment and have zero furniture. I’m looking for everything on eBay.”

First furnishings
“I recently bought a little Rembrandt etching. I may have no furniture, but I’ve got nice pictures!”

Read more:
Five minutes with Charlotte Dellal
Five minutes with Jonathan Saunders
Designer profile: Tory Burch