patrick-cox-geox.jpgLast week, our shoe-obsessed sister site Shoewawa spoke to legendary footwear designer Patrick Cox about his forthcoming collaboration with Italian brand Geox: a new unisex range of brogues, loafers other casual styles made in beautifully soft leathers and available from January.

I wanted to know how the collaboration came about and what is currently inspiring Cox to create new styles. Read on to find out how the designer rediscovered a taste for design after a four-year break from the industry, and how this new collection could pave the way to a full return to footwear. I started by asking Patrick Cox how he had come to collaborate with Geox.

Cox explained that when he left the world of footwear design four years ago, he had no definite plans to come back. During this time he opened up his hugely successful cake business 'on a whim', as just one of many new possible directions he'd thought about pursuing.

When Geox came calling 'completely out of the blue', several leading retailers and footwear brands had already been clamouring for Cox's return, but he felt that Geox had a great buzz and an element of comfort that appealed to him at the time.

patrick-cox-geox2.jpgTiming was certainly an important factor: Cox explained that the creative processes he'd gone through when he launched Cox Cookies & Cake had re-ignited his passion for design: his input was going into all aspects of the brand's visual identity from the cakes themselves to the uniforms worn by the staff, and this had ignited his creative spirit once more. 'If I hadn't done the cake shop, I might not have done Geox' he explained. He was keen to re-enter the market with a bang, and seeing this opportunity, he was keen to get started on a new range.

Inspired by London's "cool urban vibe", the pieces are casual in style and make use of Geox' innovative breathable technology. These are all qualities that Cox, a big fan of quintessentially British brand Burberry,  associates with London; a city whose vibe is "relaxed, eclectic, involves putting things together that you don't expect to go together and a lot of experimentation". He also spoke of the eccentricity that has long been associated with the city, and has had a strong influence on the collection.  

Firmly rooted in reality, Cox explained that this collection is unlikely to include any atheky-high platforms or stilettos. But we can expect to see some variations on the styles, including some wedges. Most excitingly of all, the designer revealed that now he has returned to the footwear fold he isn't in any hurry to leave - and may consider resurrecting the Patrick Cox brand. Here's hoping!

The new Patrick Cox/Geox range is available from January 2012. It includes 22 styles for women and 18 for men.