Ask any fashion editor from London to LA if they are fans of Nicholas Kirkwood’s designs and the answer is not simply a ‘yes’, but a certified (and often squealed) ‘I love them.’ This man has single handedly raised the benchmark for desirable heels and not since Christian Louboutin’s rise to cult shoe stardom has a footwear craftsman received so much hype.

His aim is to provide the precise opposite of the pretty kitten heel. No midget inches make the grade, just sexy, sculptural stop-you-in-your-tracks platforms. Surprisingly comfortable given their skyscraper height, he revels in architectural shapes, geometric forms and strong clean lines. Shoes are fuss-free so that the focus lies on their directional, forward-thinking and innovative structure.

Starting at Central Saint Martins on the art foundation course, he worked for Philip Treacy in his London store, put in a year technical training at famed shoe-making college Cordwainers, secured the Emerging Talent Accessories gong at 2008’s British Fashion Awards, is design director of footwear at Italian brand Pollini and can add Rodarte, Chloe and Gareth Pugh to the list of designers who have asked him to make shoes for their catwalk. All this at just 28 years old, topped with a loyal customer base including Kate Hudson and Grace Jones means that Nicholas Kirkwood’s empire continues to soar.

Available from Liberty, Browns, Dover Street Market, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.