Having honed his craft at Calvin Klein and Alexander McQueen , Paul Andrew launched his eponymous line of women’s shoes in 2012. Since then he has established himself as footwear’s rising star and in 2014, he became the first shoe designer to win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. After joining Salvatore Ferragamo in September 2016 as design director of women's footwear, he was promoted to women's director in October 2017 and creative director of the brand in February 2019.
Andrew’s designs are at once daring and practical, combining luxury, well-sourced materials and handmade craftsmanship with the latest technologies. This dedication to innovative, exciting design coupled with practicality has earned him both critical and commercial respect. "It has to be something that you can put on your foot and wear and feel confident and sexy and comfortable," explained the designer.
Growing up in rural England, Andrew spent his childhood saving up for copies of Vogue. His father worked as an upholsterer for the British Royal Family and it was on accompanying him to London that Andrew got his taste for fashion — days would often be spent perusing Christian Lacroix collections with his mother. Andrew went on to study fashion and showed his first collection at London’s Graduate Fashion Week in 1999, capturing the attention of Yasmin Sewell who purchased the entire collection. Sewell took Andrew under her wing, introducing him to major figures in the fashion industry, giving him a place to live in London and helping him land his first apprenticeship at Alexander McQueen.
Inspired heavily by McQueen, Andrew told Fashionista, “Whenever I’m in a moment when I’m building a collection that feels too plain or too merchandised, I often think, what would Lee [McQueen] do? How would he take it to the next level?” Whilst Andrew’s experiences working in London gave him a wild and avant-garde edge, however, working for Narcisco Rodriguez in the US taught Andrew the importance of commercial viability, grounding him in the basics necessary for building a successful fashion business.
“It’s much more organised and structured and business-oriented — less for the art… ‘We’re in business. We’re going to sell some product,’ learning that side of fashion. It really gave me this great grounding for the rest of my career,” he continued.