Large buckles and multiple straps scream edgy rebellion. Many times, this look can be over-done and gaudy, but Giuseppe Zanotti turns this concept into an elegant high-fashion shoe.
I’m a sucker for laced and strappy sandals, which is why the Zenaide by Givenchy caught my eye. I love the grommet detailing along the center strap, which is just enough to give them an edgy feel without being too overwhelming. The thin straps perfectly balance out the thicker sole and boot-like shape.
Laser technology allows for intricate detailing in the production of many goods, and I’m glad it’s being used more often for shoe design. Designers can craft styles with really unique shapes and patterns, turning shoes into works of art. The geometric detail in these Brian Atwood sandals makes them a great statement piece.
I’ve never really been a fan of Jessica Simpson shoes, mostly because I have yet to find a pair that fits comfortably on my feet. Many of the styles never particularly grabbed my attention either; I find most of them too plain, too high, unoriginal, or not classy enough for my tastes. Lately, however, I’ve spotted a pair or two that would fit in rather well with the rest of my collection, and it’s making me wonder whether there’s someone new designing shoes for the brand. I’ll have to do a little digging to find out, but in the mean time, salivate over this super sexy strappy sandal I found during a trip to DSW. I didn’t get a chance to try them on, but they look like they’d fit on the foot pretty snugly because of all the straps.
Valentino branched out a bit from the t-strap design and also create Rockstud styles that follow more classic shapes, such as peep-toe pumps and flats. I love the neutral palette on the this pump, and it’s also available in red. The shape is very classic, and the studs add just the right amount of edge to an otherwise simple pump. You can find them on FarFetch.
Many celebrities have dipped their fingers into side lines such as perfume, clothing, and shoes. If the public looks to them for inspiration and trends, it’s almost certain that products with their names will sell well. But how involved are they?
I think many celebrities have created their own collection (or licensed the use of their name) mostly in order to satisfy consumer appetites, not theirs. They (or the company that owns the brand) know we want what they have, so why not provide it to us? It’s not surprising that some celebrity shoe lines include watered down versions of high-end shoes. Now the general population has access to something that looks similar to designer styles seen on celebrities, but at a lower price. Which, on the brand’s part, seems pretty smart – unless they get caught.
The fact that some celebrity brands make copies and poor-quality shoes shows a lack of creativity and general disinterest in the actual design and production process. However, not all celebrity shoe brands are terrible. Some provide a unique perspective and quality products, and are definitely worth trying out.
ShoeDazzle by Kim Kardashian and Rachel Zoe
Until recently, Kim Kardashian was the chief stylist at Shoedazzle, a member-only personalized showroom site. Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe has now taken over that role, and will (hopefully) introduce a different vision. The site offers many styles that currently range from $29.95 to $108. It’s no surprise the site is very popular, considering the prices fit well within a bargain hunter’s budget, but I’ve heard the quality isn’t great. Many of them are also copies of other designer shoes.
This is probably the most known celebrity shoe line. Initially launched in 2006 as a shoe collaboration with Nine West co-founder Vince Camuto, the Jessica Simpson brand also includes clothing, handbags, sunglasses, and fragrances. The style of the brand seems to cater mostly to the young and trendy customer. Although some of the shoes do look more original, the brand has seen it’s share of copies. Unfortunately, I don’t find Jessica Simpson shoes very comfortable; I’ve tried many on on but they pinch my toes, rub my heels, and the slope of the heels pushes my foot forward awkwardly.
In August 2007, Paris Hilton signed a licensing agreement with Antebi for a footwear line featuring stilettos, platforms, flats, wedges, and a sports collection. Her collection is inspired by her personal taste: sweet and feminine, yet sexy and trendy. On her website, she wrote she “chose the styling, design, materials and colors for the line and also wanted to make sure it was super comfortable.” Paris has been spotted wearing her own shoes many times, and she even has shelves dedicated to them in her closet. You can find her shoes online at Macy’s, DSW, 6pm, Amazon, and in various retail stores.
Truth or Dare by Madonna
In March 2012, Truth or Dare by Madonna entered a licensing agreement with Aldo Product Services, a division of the Aldo Group, and launched globally in August 2012 at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Selfriedges, and ASOS.com. Arianna Phillips, Academy Award nominee and Costume Designers Guild award winner, is the creative consultant for Truth or Dare. The shoes are edgy, sexy, and unique, and range from flats to heels to boots. There are a lot of interesting shoes in the collection that are worth taking a look at, including studded styles with a punk feel, as well as some more classic and feminine looks. You can find Truth or Dare shoes online at Macy’s, DSW, Zappos, and 6pm.
The Ivanka Trump collection of shoes debuted in December 2010 and is licensed through Marc Fisher Footwear. The collection consists of elegant silhouettes, which are crafted with fine materials – genuine leathers, luxurious fabrics and refined embellishments. In a crowded market, Ivanka Trump shoes stand out because of their clean lines, modern and feminine styling, and versatile aesthetic that can be worn for various occasions. I can usually pick her shoes out among others on a shelf because they have a certain recognizable quality to them. Out of all the celebrity shoe collections out there, I think Ivanka Trump shoes are the best in terms of quality and price point; they’re comfortable, well-made, and timeless. Prices range from $29.99 on sale to $150 retail (boots go for more); you can find Ivanka Trump shoes online at Amazon, 6pm, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and in various retail stores.
L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. clothing line was launched in 2003. It was so successful that shoes, handbags, watches, and fragrances soon followed. L.A.M.B. is an acronym for Love Angel Music Baby, which is also the name of her first solo album. “I just wanted to make clothes I would really want and things that would represent me,” Stefani said. She serves as Creative Director for the brand, and oversees all the details by working closely with the design team. Her shoe line consists of a lot of unique and cutting-edge designs, and all of them are made of quality materials, but the prices do get pretty steep. If you’re willing to pay the $100+ price tag though, you can find L.A.M.B. shoes online at Macy’s, Zappos, DSW, and Amazon.
Elizabeth and James by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
Co-designed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the Elizabeth and James brand seeks to bridge the gap between designer and contemporary fashion by offering a designer aesthetic, luxe materials, and stunning craftsmanship at a contemporary price. The collection offers a range of shoes including flats, heels, and sandals that are inspired by uptown and downtown New Yorkers with an appreciation for classic yet eclectic pieces. Although the contemporary price is much lower than that of designer pieces, it’s still quite expensive for the fashionista with a budget. However, you can always catch Elizabeth and James shoes on sale at off-price retailers like Marshalls and TJ Maxx or flash sale sites like Gilt, Ideeli, and RueLaLa.
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker announced recently that she is launching a collection of shoes, bags, and trench coats called SJP, which will be sold exclusively in Nordstrom starting in January. I’m really excited to see the shoes because I think she has been exposed to an incredible amount of amazing footwear throughout her career, which has no doubt left a lasting impression and is sure to influence her designs. She is partnering with George Malkemus, the current CEO of Manolo Blahnik, which I think will also impact the direction her new brand goes.
Although she’s never had a shoe brand before, Sarah Jessica Parker knows what qualities her shoes should have: “I have to know that we’re producing shoes I’m going to wear. I’m not going to try and sell someone shoes that aren’t going to be good enough for me to wear myself. I want to produce something that I’m excited to order myself.” As for materials? We can bet on the fact that they’ll be made with high quality leathers! “I don’t like a shoe to be too shiny. Sometimes it loses its chicness. That’s why suede is so nice — it takes color so beautifully as opposed to calf.” That quote alone won me over; I love suede shoes, and if her collection consists mostly of suede styles, I’m most certainly going to have my eye on several pairs. However, they won’t be cheap! Producing high-quality shoes is No. 1 on the agenda, which comes at a price point of $200-300s for most styles in the collection. Time to start saving up!