The one where Philippe Starck became a shoe designer


Visionary French creator Philippe Starck has now turned his hand to feet and was in London last week to launch his new range for Brazilian footwear brand Ipanema.

The collection, features four designs in 12 different colourways, representing Arty, Glamour, Nature and Chic lifestyles. All are made from 100% recyclable materials.

Starck claimed the collection was four years in the making (“this kind of elegance is not easy”) and, as is typical of Starck’s designs it is stripped back to the bare minimum. “When you cannot make less you are in the right thing,” he said at the launch at London’s Soho House.

Philippe Starck Portrait

The French designer said he was attracted to the collaboration since the sandal was the ultimate democratic fashion item. “These are not accessories,” he said. “Shoes – you need them.”

Not everything Starck has designed in his career can be said to fall into the category of “need to have” but most of it of it falls into the category of “must-have” thanks to Starck’s unique combination of minimalism, wit and function (with the honourable exception of one of the below).

Here with are some of his best…

Ghost chair Philippe Starck

The Louis Ghost Chair for Kartell, first launched in 2002. It is said more than one million have been sold and there are probably many more copies than that in circulation too.

philippe starck
The Hot Bertaa kettle for Alessi, first launched in 1989. It was only in production for seven years and by all accounts didn’t work very well, but it established the market for turning an everyday item into an art object.

Juicy-Salif-lemon-squeezer-by-Philippe-Starck-for-Alessi philippe starck
The Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer for Alessi, first launched in 1990. No urban loft was without one of these three legged retro squeezers in the 90s. Starck is alleged to have said it wasn’t for squeezing lemons at all but for starting conversations. Probably just as well, as no one actually bought it to use it.

Philippe Starck Miss K Lamp
The Miss K Lamp, launched in 2002. Included largely because your author is in possession of two and very beautiful they are too, but also because its coquettish feminine form and diffused lighting have made it a huge hit globally.

If you want to truly immerse yourself in Starck, he has designed the interiors of a number of hotels globally including London’s The Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane, The Mondrian in Los Angeles, The Delano in Miami and the Hotel Meurice in Paris.

Like what you just read? Follow Lauretta on Twitter.

MORE: Obsessions that are not fleeting: The five best ever Manolos

NEED INSPIRATION? WGSN publishes 350 in-depth reports each month. That’s a seriously awe-inspiring amount of inspiration. Find out more here.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.