The Aesthete: Nicholas Kirkwood talks more personal taste

The footwear designer concludes his list of likes with the ’80s look of Theo Hutchcraft, Siena’s Palio horse race and James Turrell’s Roden Crater

Nicholas Kirkwood in his living room, sitting on a Edward Wormley chair in front of his Pietro Russo shelves
Nicholas Kirkwood in his living room, sitting on a Edward Wormley chair in front of his Pietro Russo shelves | Image: Tina Hillier

My style icon is Theo Hutchcraft, the singer from Hurts. He has a slightly ’80s look – slick but simple. 

Kirkwood’s Berthold bomber jacket
Kirkwood’s Berthold bomber jacket

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black zip-front bomber jacket by Berthold, which has a studio just across the road from ours. I don’t particularly like shopping for clothes, so it’s very convenient.


My favourite room in my house is the living room, which has a library area with Pietro Russo shelving and a 1950s chair by Edward Wormley.

The Palio di Siena horse race
The Palio di Siena horse race | Image: Alamy Stock Photo

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Siena, where I went last summer for a friend’s birthday. I had been to Siena before but never to the Palio, and it was the most amazing experience. The whole town transforms, there’s lots of pomp and ceremony, and the actual event is really intense and dangerous.

Kirkwood’s Murano glasses
Kirkwood’s Murano glasses | Image: Tina Hillier

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home was some coloured hexagonal Murano glasses that I watched being made in Venice. The glassblowing is sort of violent with all the heat, but so delicate at the same time; the precision is incredible.  

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Elon Musk
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Elon Musk | Image: Tina Hillier

In my fridge you’ll only find skimmed milk (often out of date) – I always eat out or order in – and there is usually ice cream in the freezer.

A hillside bungalow at Chateau Marmont
A hillside bungalow at Chateau Marmont | Image: Nikolas Koenig

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is James Turrell, although I would need a lot of space. I have always admired his work and I am obsessed with going to see his Roden Crater in Arizona’s Painted Desert.


An indulgence I would never forgo is my morning yoga lesson at home with Pandora Paloma, who I have been seeing for about a year. I started doing yoga to de-stress, but also just to get more flexible – and it does take my mind off work.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Belle Parti, a very traditional restaurant in Padua, where we recently went for a team dinner. It’s almost like you are eating in someone’s living room. It’s very old-school but the attention to detail is incredible, from the superb cocktails to the exquisite presentation of everything. The menu is quite short, with lots of fish and pasta, but it’s all beautifully done. I had the same thing I always have – spaghetti cacio e pepe. Every time it feels like a treat. Via Belle Parti 11, 35139 Padova (+39049-875 1822;

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Elon Musk’s Tesla SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. I am fascinated by him and his ambition – he’s so inspiring. A lot of people have invested in digital and software, but he’s focused on hardware and technology, whether it’s solar panels that don’t look like solar panels, or electric cars – products that can genuinely be incorporated into our lifestyles.

An object I would never part with is my iPhone. I don’t know how anyone dealt with life before the smartphone was invented. If I am somewhere with a bad signal, I get quite anxious. 

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is LA. It’s the opposite of London – the weather, the people – and it’s very easy to be healthy there. I love Maxfield: the menswear is great, but I also love the decor of the shop and the books and curiosities. The sneaker shopping is amazing – I like Undefeated in Silver Lake; you can get limited editions and other designs you just wouldn’t find in the UK. Sushi Park doesn’t look anything much, but the food is amazing – you sit at the bar and the chef will just make you whatever he wants. The Broad museum downtown is an incredible building with a great contemporary art collection. And I love staying at Chateau Marmont, where you can either hide away or be part of the scene. It’s so notorious you never know what might have happened in your room. The Broad, 221 S Grand Ave (+1212-232 6200; Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd (+1323-656 1010; Maxfield, 8825 Melrose Ave (+1310-274 8800; Sushi Park, 8539 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood (+1310-652 0523). Undefeated, 3827 W Sunset Blvd (+1323-668 1315;

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a furniture designer. Designing is the only thing I am good at. I’d love to be an architect, but I couldn’t face a seven-year course.

See also