Lines We Love: B Brian Atwood (& interview!)

– By Loren Olson – 

The swaying fringe on the Cassiane heel captures every stamp of the dancer’s feet. It sprays out as she twists, a seismograph for sultry spontaneity. The fringe teases like slow motion- we think we’ve figured out her pattern- but then she’s gone and as mysterious as ever.

The campaign video for B Brian Atwood’s S/S 2012 line features model Karen DeSouza dancing uninhibited at an upscale bar. Mr. Atwood himself is seated in the background looking on. This speaks to both the designer’s heavy involvement in the brand and the striking imagery that has set the line apart from its competitors.

The American-born Atwood has had a training of sorts in the art of sex appeal. Following a seven year modeling career he was snapped up by Gianni Versace to design for Versus. Swiftly promoted to head designer of Versace accessories, he held the post for nine years.

While in Italy he picked up a love of exquisite construction techniques. He launched his eponymous label from Milan in 2001. For ten triumphant years Atwood has garnered the adoration of shoe fans world wide. His A-list following includes Victoria Beckham, Blake Lively, and Emma Stone, not to mention the well-heeled ladies of Sex in the City 2.

In the summer of 2011 Atwood started his second line, B Brian Atwood, creating appealing numbers for uptown and downtown girls alike. The line provides the designer’s signature glamour at a more far-reaching price point, as low as $200 to the couture line’s $800.

While the advertising for his first BBA campaign featured illicit liaisons in hotels, this collection’s vibe is more aggressive still. Posed in thigh highs on quilted sofas, the boudoir is in strong effect. DeSouza’s fringed dress, hair, and even bracelets all heighten the drama of the shoe, a theme carried out through the styling in the rest of the campaign’s image series.

Atwood brilliantly exploits the erotic aspects of both the medium and the body. The straps on his heels cast a spotlight on the extended ankle- a sign of pleasure beyond any toe-curl. Witness the double cleavage on a lurex pair from last summer’s launch collection. Fetish elements like tassels, chains, and ankle straps keep the bedroom message clear. But Atwood tempers this with an equally strong sense of what works for everyday. His shoes are ultimately wearable.

While women often lust after shoes that can leave their partners bemused, the design here is covetable without being crazy. Its the sort of shoe a man can appreciate. Below, Mr. Atwood offers readers a special treat, answering our questions on his line of sexy, sexy shoes.

Q: What originally interested you in launching B Brian Atwood? What is the difference between the two lines?

A: I loved the idea of reaching more women with a collection that engages a new fashionista that is girly and sexy with a touch of tomboy.

Q: How involved were you in the creation of the B Untamed video? What inspired the choice of the music and model?

A: I love the process of creating a video – the story really comes alive. I was very inspired by the seductive and chic fluid movement of the fringe on the shoes and it took off from there. For me the model was the most important part of the video – she had to be strong, confident and sexy.

Q: Atwood shoes are known for their sex appeal. How important is erotic imagery to the brand?

A: The B girl is fun, flirty, sexy and sophisticated and in every campaign we do we try to capture that.

Q: Do you consciously choose materials that have sexual connotations, like rubber and fringe? What materials can we look forward to seeing in the future?

A: I love materials that make women feel confident and sexy. A little tease for my next collection….snake skin, leather, chains.

Q: What situations would you love to see your BBA shoes in?

A: The B girl wears them everywhere – day, night, dressed up or down.

Q: How should a woman feel when wearing the perfect pair of heels?

A: Strong, confident and sexy.

Q: Do you think BBAs can appeal to men as much as the women who collect them?

A: Absolutely, what man doesn’t love seeing a woman in killer heels!

Q: If Olivia were a shoe, what would it look like?

A: The thing that’s great about Olivia is that she has fun with fashion and it always shows. If Olivia were a shoe it would be a sophisticated silhouette but with an edge – she is the B girl personified!

Take a look at few of our favorite B Brian Atwood shoes below!

1. Fontanne Pump

2.  Fineday Mary Jane

3. Florencia Peep Toe

4. Teatro Sandal

5. Casanova Sandal

6. Lenoire  T Strap Sandals

7. Cassiane  Sandal

8. Luciana T-Strap Sandal

9. Liese  Peep Toe Ankle Boots



Loren Olson is a frequent guest contributor to   She spends her free time working on Le Magazine, an independent fashion publication.

Photo of Mr. Atwood courtesy of Dave Yoder for W Magazine
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