Top 10 Highlights
Givenchy was founded in 1952 by the designer Hubert de Givenchy. It is now part of the LVMH Group. Famous for cosmetics and perfumes, Givenchy also offers a range of luxury women’s and mens clothing and shoes, including more casual boots and sneakers.
Fendi is an Italian fashion house started by Edoardo Fendi and Adele Fendi (nee Casagrande) in 1925. Originally focused on leather goods and fur, the business grew into a fully fledged luxury fashion house famous for technical innovations, superb craftsmanship and outstanding design. Karl Lagerfeld joined the firm in 1965 and the Fendi family continued to operate the business into the ’90’s when LVMH and Prada purchased 51% of the group. The famous Fendi ‘F’ distinguishes their luxury shoes.
Azzedine Alaia is a Tunisian designer of women’s fashion shoes and clothes who found success in the 1980’s after a number of high profile celebrities took to his dresses. Alaia has been in a partnership with Prada since 2000 with Azzedine remaining a driving force in the design of the fashion items bearing his name.
7. Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen is a British luxury fashion house that was founded by Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992. Often controversial and never less than daring, Alexander McQueen designer women’s shoes and ankle boots regularly feature highly unusual shapes and materials and the skull logo is never far from view. The man himself, young, brash and enormously talented, became known as “l’enfant terrible” for his daring shows and runway collections. Lee Alexander McQueen tragically passed away in February 2010 aged 40.
6. Stuart Weitzman
Seymour Weitzman started a shoe manufacturing business in the US in the 1950’s. His son, Stuart Weitzman, started designing shoes for his father in the 1960’s and bought out the company in the 1990’s after selling it in the 70’s. Today these high end women’s designer shoes are made in Spain and sold globally. Weitzman are well known for providing bespoke ‘million dollar’ shoes for film celebrities.
Tod’s Group is another Italian luxury shoe manufacturer that is, somewhat oddly, famous for driving shoes as well as their luxury designer women’s leather shoes. The business was started by Dorino Della Valle in the 1920’s. Dorino’s eldest son, Diego, expanded the business in the 1970’s and 80’s and, while keeping their handmade approach to their shoe production, successfully introduced other brands and luxury goods. Today Tod’s employs more than 3,000 staff making this one of the larger luxury goods brands in the world.
4. Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo was an Italian women’s shoe designer who became well known working with Hollywood celebrities in the 1920’s before starting his handmade women’s shoes business back in Florence, Italy. Cage and Wedge heels were two design innovations introduced by Ferragamo, whose shoes remain a firm favourite with film stars and music celebrities.
3. Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo, a Chinese Malaysian born into a shoemaking family in 1952, made his first shoe at the tender age of 11 years. He studied in London and is now runs his business from the UK. Jimmy Choo is now best known for his very expensive, handmade women’s designer shoes.
2. Christian Louboutin
Born in 1963 and active in the footwear business since 1991, Christian Louboutin is a high profile French shoe designer whose shoes are best known for their glossy red lacquered soles and high stiletto heels. Louboutin himself has stated that his goal is to make women look more sexy and make their legs look as long as possible. Louboutins are particularly favoured by high profile celebrities and regularly feature in films and music.
1. Manolo Blahnik
Manuel ‘Manolo’ Blahnik Rodriguez is the world’s hottest fashion shoe designer and has been for decades. His shoes are at once classic and daring bringing together colour, texture and materials that draw inspiration from cultures around the globe.