Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Masters of Shoes

Every woman loves shoes. That is nothing new for any of us! What is hot and new at the moment is the list of shoes designers I will write about today.

They are on feet of celebrities, socialites, fashion editorials, magazines: they are a must have for shoe lovers! You probably saw already some of their pairs while watching the Academy Awards, or reading your monthly glossy magazine.

If you don't know who are the biggest masters on the art of making shoes from our generation, read on and you will find out.

Manolo Blahnik

The Spanish designer started designing shoes in the 70's, but since Sex and the City his creations became a pop sensation.

He never had any type of fashion training, but he sketches his designs and carves them in wood and sculpts the heels. He is the one who decides how his campaigns are going to look like. How could he accomplish all of that? He jokes that he does not need training, because he has the best taste in the world.

A few celebrities that wear Manolo Blahnik: Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Madonna and Kylie Minogue.

About his love for his work, he says: "Shoes help transform a woman".

Brian Atwood

The American designer is a celebrity favorite. His creations have been worn by Megan Fox, Victoria Beckham, Anna Paquin, Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Kate Hudson and the list goes far on.

While Blahnik became famous because of the Sex and the City series, Atwoods pairs were the must have in the homonymous film. His creations are colorful, fun and sexy.

About his passion for shoes he says to "Well, they tell me a lot about a woman. The relationship between a woman and her shoes is almost magical: Just think about Cinderella. The shoe changed her life! But they also have an influence in the real world, they change your outlook, the way you walk. Shoes lift your spirits".

Gianmarco Lorenzi

In the picture on the left you can see Gianni Renzi and one of his creations. He is one of the designers of the Italian luxury shoe brand Gianmarco Lorenzi.

The name is a fusion between the names Gianni, Marco and Lorenzo Renzi, three brothers that transformed their parents business into a worldwide chain worn by many celebrities including Eva Longoria, Mariah Carey and Beyonce.

In the shoes business the Gianmarco Lorenzi are known for being the sexy ones, so if you are looking for sexy heels, this is your brand! They are really high, colorful, bright and some could even be suitable as striptease shoes.

About the shoes business Gianni Renzi says: "To create the shoes properly, we have to start with comfort. It’s not true that just because a shoe is high-heeled, it is uncomfortable. Our goal is to create shoes that have high heels but are comfortable to wear".

Rupert Sanderson

The British designer is the favorite of the British celebrities: Cheryl Cole and Kate Moss are fans, and Lily Allen even got married wearing one of his pairs.

Rupert Sanderson has been obsessed for shoes since his teenager times. He studied at the Cordwainers College and honed his skills working with the designer Sergio Rossi.

About the women that wear his shoes, he says: "Confident and clever, she is someone who has the confidence to shop outside the usual brand because in her daily life she makes decisions based on her own independence of mind. A woman of some substance who relishes the sex appeal of a great shoe."

Jimmy Choo

From all designers that are going to be mentioned today, Malaysian born Jimmy Choo, is the one with the most honored career. His shoes have been worn by most celebrities I can think of, including Princess Diana.

Born in a family of shoe makers, Jimmy Choo made his first pair when he was only 11 years old. He could never know how someday his shoes would become his legacy supported by important fashion magazines like Vogue (which once posted a 8 pages article about the designer) and important personalities such as First Lady Michelle Obama. For those and more reasons he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malasian International Fashion week in 2006.

Right now Jimmy Choo is the tourism ambassador for Malasya, and who designs the shoes for the brand is the also brilliant Tamara Mellon.

When asked who he would like to design shoes for, he said: I met Beyonce, I went to see her at a concert. She danced well, she dressed well and had very good manners. I would like to design something for Beyonce."

Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier was a French shoe designer very famous for inventing the stiletto heels. He passed away in 1998 and his brand had a down time, until Bruno Frisoni (picture) assumed the position of creative director in 2004 and gave a new life to the Roger Vivier's legacy.

Frisoni is Parisian born and son of Italian parents. He does shoes since the 80's and already has designed for Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent and Lanvin. In 1999 he launched his own line, which is still available for sell in his website.

Bruno Frisoni often criticizes the shoe costumers from nowadays for often opting for basic designs. He says he is not the minimalist type, much more the fan of ornaments and unique designs. In his words: "I'm not into pure design as the technical aspect of the shoe is not that interesting to me. I like the decorum better, the structure doesn't count but the intention is essential".

Stuart Weitzman

The American designer is also one of the most respected in business and has his own celebrity fans. Just recently J.Lo and Rihanna have been performing with his boots (which are being sold now for 10000 dollars), and Jennifer Garner was present on the tv program "Fox & Friends" with one of his pairs.

Weitzman's shoes are known for the unique details. Also for being a red carpet favorite. He used to make a special one million dollars bejeweled shoe to a nominated actress in every Academy Award event. Nowadays he does not offer such kindness.

About his style and creations he said to NYreport: "There have been seasons when I’ve been too commercial, and there have been seasons when I’ve been too fashion oriented. But my customers bring us back in place by asking, 'Where are those moccasins?' or 'Where are the basics?' So I’m able to react to them".

Sergio Rossi

The Italian fashion designer specialized in shoes created his label in the 1950's. Nowadays the also Italian shoe designer Francesco Russo (picture) assumes the company as creative director keeping up the quality and great design that fascinate many celebrities such as Beyonce, Victoria Beckham and Cameron Diaz.

He is in the luxury market for a while. Yves Saint Laurent and Miu Miu are two of the companies he worked for before taking his position at Sergio Rossi in the end of 2008.

His shoes are very unique and elegant. The twisting heels look like a drown line and are one of the most intriguing pairs; and although you could become very suspicious about how safe you would be in one of them, the designer guarantees the shoes are very comfortable: “Today people want to make a statement and be spectacular with their shoes, but if you can’t walk in them properly, you just won’t pull it off".

Christian Louboutin

The picture in the beggining of this post has a super-high stiletto which is the dream of many women in the world at this moment. The reason for this dream is the fact that the shoe is designed by the French designer which is the most requested by celebrities, socialites and all women in the world since he made the stiletto pumps the must have item of every shoe lover. He made shoes become collector's item, and the main focus of many women's outfits.

Christian Louboutin is the man that brought back the killer heels. His super high courts with red sole are the biggest shoe trend at the moment. Every celebrity you could imagine has one of his pairs. Madonna, Lady Gaga (left picture: wearing Louboutin white boots), Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, Oprah, Liv Tyler and even Tom Cruise's little girl, Suri Cruise.

Did you already get the feeling of how crazy everyone is at the moment for a pair of Louboutins?

Christian Louboutin is another self-tought designer who left school really early and learned the technique of designing shoes working for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

Although Louboutin shoes look fabulous, they have a reputation of being really uncomfortable. A journalist from the British newspaper "The Guardian" asked him in an interview if being comfortable is an important fact for shoes, he said: "It is important because a woman doesn't look good if she's not comfortable. But I wouldn't take it as a compliment if someone looked at one of my shoes and said, 'Oh, that looks like a comfortable shoe'." Then she asked if there is such thing as "too high heels" and Louboutin joked: "There is a heel that is too high to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don't have to walk in high heels."

His latest controversial creation are the 20 cms heels based on ballet shoes; Possible following the Black Swan hype. He says: "Isn't the classical dancing ballet slipper the ultimate heel? The heel which makes dancers closer than any other women to the sky, closer to heaven."

Very inspiring, but I want to meet a wonder woman that can walk in them!

Bonus Designer:

Nicholas Kirkwood

He is the most talked about up and coming designer at the moment. He studied at the Central Saint Martins and already designed shoes for Chloe, but his most appreciated creation was his black pumps for Rodarte. The same shoe has been worn by Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, Dasha Zhukova and Kim Kardashian.

Beside the success with the celebs, Kirkwood is also collecting prizes. He won the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award at the British Fashion Awards, the AltaRoma Vogue Italia Who's Next, and his latest assignment is with the London based label Peter Pilotto, which is really exciting for his fan base that look forward to be able to purchase more of his creations.

With such shaky start, we should see much more stuff coming from the outstanding designer.

As everybody before answered what they do, Kirk makes a difference and says what should not be done in question of shoes: "There are definitely shoes I’d like to never, ever see again. Any kind of sport shoe with a heel, for instance. I mean, ew. And I’m pretty much over the five-inch-high platform and girls tripping all over the place. Granted, I’ve been responsible for some of that."

So this is my list of the most requested shoe designers of our time.

I must make sure I don't forget to mention other very important names in shoe making, which I decided to leave out of this post, but that doesn't make them any less important in the shoe business, like Giuseppe Zanotti, Jonathan Kelsey, Pierre Hardy, Gil Carvalho, Gina, Rene Caovilla and Patrick Cox.

Also another great up and coming: Charlotte Olympia; she was not between my list, but I finish the post with one of her designs.

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