“I have this little substance abuse problem. Expensive footwear. “
Carrie Bradshaw’s candid confession on Sex & the City pretty much sums up our own obsession with footwear. There can never be too many heels or too many black shoes or too many…well, shoes! And shoe designers are not making life any easier for us. From new fabrics to new forms, each masterpiece created makes the heart race a little faster and the eyes pop a little more. So we bring to you the most talked about shoe designers who are responsible solely for raising the frantic shoe fever. A mix of established names and new blood that’s making our life heaven and hell!
“I lost my Choo!”- Carrie Bradshaw
This one of course needs no introduction. We’ve been lusting after Choos since we were old enough to understand the power of heels. Jimmy Choo is the undisputed king of sexy, strappy, stilettos and a wedding trousseau favourite for close to two decades. He has given us some of the most dreamy shoes in modern fashion- the perfect finish to your evening wear variety. But did you know that Jimmy Choo actually exited the label way back in 2001? His niece Sandra Choi is the creative force behind the brand now and Jimmy Choo has returned to making bespoke shoes under Jimmy Choo Couture Limited which he founded in 2006. Needless to say its by appointment only.
“The fact is, sometimes it’s hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then – to make the walk a little more fun” – Carrie Bradshaw
Bold, colourful & modern heels that are statement pieces, Brain Atwood’s forte is the stop and stare design. He’s the new age red carpet favourite with young celebrities eager to make the fashion statement that will set them apart. His designs are unapologetically over the top and striking in their use of fabric and colour. He’s your go-to guy if you’re looking for the unabashed sexy statement heels. A fun fact? In 1996, Brian Atwood became the first American designer to ever be hired by Gianni Versace and he was working there when he launched his own label in 2001.
“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot” – Marilyn Monroe
We all owe much to Roger Vivier- the man behind the stiletto. While high heels were around for much longer it is Roger Vivier who is credited with reviving the style by inserting a steel rod in the heel. His signature style has been classic and extravagant using luxurious materials like satin, fur, lace & jewels. His shoes give that ‘royal’ touch to all ensembles and he has been a favourite among fashion designers and hollywood celebrities. Another revolutionary design by him has been the Comma Heel design called the Virgule in 1963 which became his trademark- the bent heel is now a signature style.
“What becomes of the broken-hearted? They buy shoes.” – Mimi Pond
Fantasy, fun and femininity are the trademarks of this young British designer who’s made a splash with her butterfly detail Chiara sandals and there’s been no looking back since then. A loyal celebrity following and staunch backing by luxury and fashion retailers like Dover Street Market and Net-a-Porter have made Webster a big name in the shoe world. Her designs have a whimsical almost childlike fantastical quality to them that sets them apart. An amazing fact? SS2013 was Sophie’s first full official collection but her pieces were already retailing out of Bergdorf Goodman & Saks before it was even complete!
“Oh my God! Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes! I thought these were an urban shoe myth!”- Carrie Bradshaw
One of the greatest legends of the shoe design world, Manolo Blahnik definitely needs no introduction but then it’s just not on to announce Royalty without the proper announcement! The master of classic, timeless elegance and sophisticated designs, Manolo Blahnik was a force to be reckoned with even before Carrie brought him alive in our lives. He has always been the undisputed king of the red carpet and his shoes top the list of most coveted in the world. A fun trivia? Allegedly Blahnik lives with 10,000 pairs of his shoe designs shacked up in his large estate in Bath, England!
“I’m not afraid of heights- have you seen my shoes?” – Carrie Bradshaw
The man who painted our soles and our souls red. The man who brings to life our dream of walking with our head high and our heels higher. The living legend of the shoe world is known for his towering heels and striking red soles which have incidentally become a subtle status symbol. A pair of Louboutin shoes is on every fashionista’s lust list, wish list, must have list and every other list! Need we say more? A fun fact? Christian Louboutin was shoe legend Roger Vivier’s protégé before he opened his own label in 1992.
“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old women who lived in her shoes!” – Carrie Bradshaw
The creator of one of a kind million dollar shoes. Stuart Weitzman’s USP is his use of unique materials like cork, vinyl, lucite, wallpaper, platinum threads, diamonds and 24-karat gold! You read right. Dubbed the unofficial Oscars shoe designer, the Academy Awards red carpet is his favourite playing field where every year he picks a nominee to wear his unique ‘million-dollar’ shoe! In 2002 Laura Harring wore Weitzman’s million dollar shoes with 464 diamonds to the Oscars and was accompanied by 3 bodyguards or should we say shoe-guards?
“Put on your red shoes, and dance the blues.” – David Bowie
The world of Charlotte Olympia shoes is steeped in glamour, pop culture and new age aesthetics even though admittedly the designer draws her biggest inspirations from old world Hollywood sophistication. But its hard to ignore the pop culture influences on her shoes. Like the hand-painted Dolly platform heels she designed with contemporary artist Boyarde to recreate famous works of modern art like those of Picasso and Pollock or her distinctive leopard prints on shoes. A fun fact? Ask her the must have shoe in a woman’s wardrobe and her vote goes to a pair of Converse sneakers!
“A shoe without sex appeal is as barren as a tree without leaves.” – Rita De Acosta Lydig
The label designs shoes that literally sing ‘I’m sexy and I know it’! Traditional Italian craftsmanship and audacious glamour are the brand’s style. Legendary shoe maker Sergio Rossi started the label int he 60s and his popularity soared amongst the Hollywood celeb set. Even now the label, headed by designer Francesco Russo boasts of A list celebrity patrons like Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. In fact Beyoncé wore a pair of Sergio Rossi’s Leather Gladiator Borderline Boots in her music video Run The World (Girls) in 2011 and ushered in a Sergio Rossi shoe rage.
“Here lies Carrie. She had two loves and lot o’ shoes.”- Carrie Bradshaw
Son of legendary shoe designer Sergio Rossi, Gianvito Rossi founded his own label in 2006. And he has taken the fashion world by storm with his simplicity and minimal ostentation in design. In that respect his sensibilities are very different from his father’s eponymous label. He believes in quiet elegance and no razzmatazz. But don’t think that makes his designs tame. They are anything but. He uses a lot of geometrical patterns and colour blocking. His use of transparent plexiglass in shoes is a signature style. In an interview he famously finished the sentence “A woman in heels is … ” with ‘dangerous’!
“My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes.” – Oprah Winfrey
The Swiss designer’s design philosophy is all about innovation and unique-ness. And his world famous trademarked ‘Curved Heel’ design is a testament to his passion for innovation. You can spot a Walter Steiger shoe from far due to this striking arch-shaped bent heels. Though the trend of curved heels is picking up fast, the best ones in the business comes from the Swiss master. In 2009 Walter, along with his sons opened ‘Steiger Bottier’ in Paris – a dedicated to made-to-measure shoes studio for men and women.
“I can be naked as long as I’m wearing the right pair of shoes.” – Anna Dello Russo
Flamboyance and flair. The two words that come to mind when you look at renowned shoe maker Guiseppe Zanoti’s designs. He goes all out on gold zippers, studs, chains and motifs and yet balances it out beautifully with luxurious materials like velvet and best quality leather. His heels tops the wish list of every fashionista and his sneakers feature on every hip hop artist’s lust list! He is one of the few shoe designers who’s designs for men are just as popular. A fun fact? Zanoti worked as a DJ in the 80s before he became the ‘Shoe-God’ that he is today.
“Elegance and comfort are not incompatible, and whoever maintains the contrary simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about” – Salvatore Ferragamo
Aquazurra by Edgardo Osorio
No one understands that better than young and upcoming shoe designer Edgardo Osorio whose label Aquazurra is quietly, but steadily making it big in the fashion world. His primary design concern is comfort- stylish but wearable footwear for the modern woman. His shoes have become famous as the ‘second skin’ gloves for the feet! Fun fact? While he draws up a mood board of his inspirations before any collection, the two constants on that board are Kate Moss and Giovanna Battaglia. In his words, ‘They both represent the sort of sensuality, easy elegance and cool I love.’
We’ll leave you with this:
“Men, I may not know, but shoes, shoes I know.”- Carrie Bradshaw
May the Force be with you!