Milan-based Max Kibardin may be a newcomer to the American shoe stage, but as a finalist in Italian Vogue’s “Who’s On Next Competition” as well as key collaborator to Reem Acra and J. Mendel, the designer is a creative force to be reckoned with. This spring, Kibardin’s glamorous and whimsical footwear collection is coming to Saks Fifth Avenue. Styles ranges from colorful strappy sandals to tailored flats, brogues and classic pumps in a variety of neutrals. SaksPOV recently sat down with Kibardin to learn what inspires him, his work and how he stepped onto the footwear scene.
SaksPOV: How did you get into shoe design?
Max Kibardin: When I was studying at Marangoni Design School in Milan, I had an interview at Prada. After looking at my sketches, they asked me if I would design shoes instead of ready-to-wear, which was my specialization. At the time, I wasn’t interested in shoes so I left without accepting the position. But from that moment on, designing shoes became a challenge for myself.
SaksPOV: How is footwear different from other accessories design or ready-to-wear?
M.K.: With footwear you have to communicate your view of fashion with one item, but in ready-to-wear, you have the chance to explain it with a “total look of many items mixed together.
SaksPOV: What inspires you?
M.K.: Art and movies – especially movies. The French and Italian films from the late 1960’s are my biggest inspiration. Women were so elegant at that time.
SaksPOV: What has been your biggest achievement so far?
M.K.: To be able to continue doing what I love. For a designer, it is important to be faithful to one’s own style despite fashion and trends.
SaksPOV: What kind of shoes do you like to wear?
M.K.: I love to wear beautiful shoes. I do not care if they are comfortable or not
SaksPOV: Who is the Max Kibardin woman?
M.K.: A contemporary woman who appreciates the classics. She’s harmonic in her look, but also loves to have that strong piece in her closet to complete her style.
SaksPOV: How do you spend your free time?
M.K.: With my family and my little daughter. She is only two years old now and when I come back home, she is already asleep, so the weekends are all for her now.