FabSugar: What was the inspiration behind your beautiful new handbag collection?
Brian Atwood: It was about being surrounded by amazing women, seeing what their needs were. It was about taking that DNA and excitement from what I put into my shoes into a bag and thinking what would that bag look like, how do we make it cool, gorgeous, and showstopping? It's only the beginning, I'm having so much fun.
FS: What are some of your most memorable red-carpet moments?
BA: The first red carpet I had was with Debra Messing at the 2002 SAG Awards. I had no idea, I think she bought them, and someone told me she was wearing my shoes. That's when you really understand the power of the red carpet; it was pretty amazing. Cameron Diaz also wore [my shoes] at the Oscars with a dress which was short in front and long in back. I thought that was perfect. And now we have the shoe cam, I love the shoe cam!
Brian Atwood on living broke with Melissa McCarthy, what makes a woman sexy, and more.
FS: Tell us about the custom shoes you designed for Melissa McCarthy at the Oscars.
BA: She kind of designed her [Oscars] dress around the shoe. I had the factory who makes soles put a little special imprint on the bottom of her shoes which said, "To my BF Melissa McCarthy on Oscars night." It was her night, I have chills thinking about it right now. I met her when she was 15, and we grew up together. I told her to move out of Boulder, CO. I knew she was a star so I told her to move to New York and live with me. We lived in Hell's Kitchen and we were so broke. I gave her a free subway map for her 21st birthday. It was just a special time.
FS: Do you have any upcoming collaborations or new projects coming up?
BA: Not right now, it's more about getting this handbag line going. I have some new projects in the works, but I don't want to jinx them. There's a lot going on though, new and exciting things.
FS: What kind of accessories should every woman invest in this season?
BA: Amazing color[ed] accessories, like fluorescent or indulgent, bright colors. Also, a good clutch. It's a fun time and it's all about experimenting with what suits you. I'm all about making it original; there are no rules in fashion, you really have to make it your own and see how it works in your life.
FS: What makes a woman sexy?
BA: A sense of humor.
FS: If you weren't a designer, what would you be?
BA: A plastic surgeon or architect — because I'm obsessed with beauty. I used to build little model [houses] when I was young. If I was a plastic surgeon, I think I would be a really good one; very light, natural.
FS: Any upcoming vacation plans?
BA: I'm going to LA tomorrow, then I have to head back to Milan for work. I was just in Turks [and Caicos] for my partner's birthday, so I got a little vacation and now I have a lot to get done. Resort is just around the corner!