New designers come and go, but quality design and craftsmanship is how a designer reaches iconic status in the fashion world. These designers’ shoes have proven their worth against the test of time, and no self-respecting shoe collector would be without at least one pair from each brand. These are our must-have shoe designers.
Christian Louboutin makes the most recognizable designer shoes in the world. People know at a glance that you are wearing Louboutins because of the distinctive red-sole. In 1993, Louboutin painted the soles of a pair of his shoes with his assistant’s red nail polish on a whim and the rest is branding history. For over 20 years, Louboutin has produced sexy, surreal shoes that are popular with celebrities, nobility, well, with everyone really. Louboutin reportedly sells over half a million pairs of shoes each year, even though they regularly cost between $400 and $6000 per pair.
You don’t have to be Carrie Bradshaw to be crazy for Manolo Blahnik shoes. The designer’s classic, lady-like aesthetic has changed little over the 40 years of his career. Blahniks are sleek, comfortable and timeless. Rumor has it that Anna Wintour has been wearing the same style of nude Blahnik sandals almost every day since they were custom designed for her in 1994!
The son of a Malaysian cobbler, Jimmy Choo began his empire by hand-making 20 shoes a week. Now Sandra Choi is at the helm of the global Jimmy Choo brand and shoes are available at high-end retailers like Saks and Harrods. While the Jimmy Choo brand expanded over the years, Choo himself has returned to his early style of work, hand producing shoes for his Jimmy Choo Couture line.
Salvatore Ferragamo first became famous in the early 1920s making made-to-measure shoes for Hollywood stars, going so far as to study anatomy to make his shoes more comfortable for the wearer. The “Shoemaker to the Stars” made shoes that were worn by Sofia Loren, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and more. Today the Ferragamo family carries on his legacy from the company’s headquarters in Florence.
Is our list incomplete? Which other iconic shoe designers would you add to the list? Also be sure to add a designer handbag to your wardrobe along with your shoes!