Alternative luxury can be defined as the amalgamation of contemporary style and streetwise sophistication. For Alexander Smith London, this is the trademark aesthetic that captures the essence of the designers signature style. Founded in 2012 by Andrea de Polis, an architect who swapped buildings for footwear, the brand creates statement footwear that merge an urban edge with the desirability of luxury.
Fusing elements of an Italian heritage with his East London lifestyle, De Polis interweaves the constant flow of inspiration from London’s ever changing streets, with the artisan craftsmanship ingrained in Italy’s artistic heritage. With designs constantly pushing technical and aesthetic boundaries, the collections for both men and women play with characteristics of each gender, contrasting facets of fierce femininity with defiant masculine features.
For the men’s S/S15 collection, De Polis combines nostalgia for past fashions with cutting edge contemporary design. Loafers and trainers from the ‘Intreccio’, ‘Cocco’ and ‘Lux’ collections reminisce on the form-fitting fashion of the ’80s, whilst the ‘Running’ and ‘Carbonio’ collections reference the current integration of sportswear and street wear through design features such as zipped trainers. Featuring a simple monochrome colour palette the designs are all about the extra details. Intricate surfaces, such as black lacquered croc optic, and striking embellishments, in the form of prominent shoe tongues, channel the unique mix of past and present.
In the women’s collection, De Polis’ contemporary take on nostalgia finds itself in the contrast of vintage inspired chain adornments and Swarovski studded heels. Tartan-inspired weaving features alongside shiny patent leather, handcrafted in the brands Veneto based atelier, utilising 30 years of artisanal excellence.
Additionally in the designers’ new singular ‘Fashion’ collection, footwear has been imagined around the iconic personalities of powerful female figures, such as Iggy Azalea and Rihanna. Brave, bold and unapologetically flashy, this combination of edge and femininity creates a look of glamour and unquestionable power. In this collection, the summer silhouettes include razor sharp heels wrapped in subtly seductive materials in a range of different hues. Striking prints and bold chains refuse to play games, with this collection ever ready to seduce.
A brand that creates a unique blend of a feisty urban style, the Alexander Smith London designs leave the wearer in awe. Revolving around the concept of ‘Alternative Luxury,’ the collections showcase innovative designs where creativity and craftsmanship prevail. Add in a focus on high quality materials and attention to detail, and the result is a brand that won’t consider anything other than perfection.
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