Brian Atwood, made his name designing exquisite heels worn by many stars like Kate Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Lady GaGa to name a few. A former fashion model, he began his design career in the 90's working for the legendary Gianni Versace. As the first American designer hired by the Italian fashion house, he quickly rose to the position of Head Designer of Accessories. In 2001 he launched his namesake shoe label specializing in glamorous sky-high heels, which soon became a fixture on the red carpet. I chatted to Atwood at the Chicago History Museum where he was being honored at their spring fundraiser luncheon in support of the Costume Council, the sold-out event raised over $30,000.
WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?
Shoes, of course! I’ve collected around 1500 shoes from every shoe designer you can image.
WHO ARE YOU STYLE ICONS?
Besides my mom, classics like Lauren Hutton
Brian Atwood with his mom Dusty Stemer, event co-chair
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Life of the party
LAST TIME YOU DANCED?
Last week at a karaoke party
FAVORITE VACATION HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
Anywhere in Greece
LAST TIME YOU WERE LATE?
YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH GROWING UP?
LAST FILM YOU SAW?
My girl Melissa McCarthy’s new film Life of the Party
LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I’m currently reading The Power of Now
BEST SHOE ADVICE?
If you don’t know what shoe to wear with an outfit my advice is select something simple, stay away from anything too trendy. So often I see a woman in a great outfit but with terrible shoes.
THE LAST TIME YOU WERE STARSTRUCK?
At the Oscars, everyone was there from Nicole Kidman to Madonna.
BIGGEST FASHION FAUX PAS?
A corduroy flared suit
Brian Atwood with his brother Zak Stemer
LAST TIME SOMEONE MADE YOU LAUGH?
Last night on the phone with my brother Zak (Stemer).
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR ICONIC MANIAC SHOE?
Maniacs were inspired by the movie Flash Dance, I remember I was at Kate Hudson’s Halloween party. Brad Goreski was dressed as Jennifer Beals and said: “You should do a red pump called a Maniac.” And I said, “You know, that’s a good idea!”
LAST CONCERT YOU WENT TO?
JLo in Dubai
YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
Tequila on the rocks with a lime
WHAT’S ON THE LIST DO LIST WHILE YOU ARE HERE IN CHICAGO?
The Wieners Circle with my brother.
In-conversation with Susanna Homan, editor and chief of Chicago magazine
Event photos by Mila Samokhina