1990 wasn’t exactly a good year for the Gucci fashion house. Sales were not good and its prestige was slipping away. Then came Tom Ford and the rest, as they say, is history. He was initially appointed the chief ready-to-wear designer and soon enough, he took over the men’s and shoe lines. Suffice to say, he was the man responsible for bringing sexy back to the fashion house with his slinky, sleek, and smart creations. The new designs were instantly considered classics. Needless to say, the whole world fell in love again with Gucci. Loyal following ensued and the company was finally able to get back on its feet. It didn’t take long for Gucci to become a billion-dollar luxury brand enterprise. Gucci shoes were especially noted for its comfort and craftsmanship.
9. Miu Miu
This high fashion brand from the Prada group has one of the most-sought after line of shoes in the world. The brand’s quirky name evokes an even quirkier spirit evident in their shoe designs fit for the modern, carefree, intelligentsia crowd. Named after Prada’s president and head designer Miuccia Prada, you can expect avant-garde designs tempered with wit. Fans of Miu Miu include cool and hip girls about town like Kirsten Dunst, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Chloe Sevigny just to name a few.
8. Stuart Weitzman
Stuart Weitzman made his mark in the shoe industry for his exquisite, one-off, million dollar shoes fit for a princess. His creations often walk the red carpet events particularly the annual Academy Awards where his shoes are given their rightful fifteen minutes of fame. Save for a 2007 red carpet controversy where the actress Weitzman chose didn’t go for his shoes, the brand is revered for its elegant designs and use of materials such as Lucite, cork, vinyl, and even 24-k gold.
7. Brian Atwood
The brand is a relatively newcomer in the fashion shoe block but the impeccable quality and superb craftsmanship tells otherwise. Brian Atwood shoes are definitely not for wallflower types as they are wonderful works of art meant to be ogled at. Given his architectural and structural shoe designs, it isn't any wonder how his shoes have the power to highlight a woman’s legs in a very flattering way. The heels are designed in such a way that the wearer’s legs look leaner and longer than ever without sacrificing comfort.
6. Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen is known for heading Givenchy's design team in the mid-90s, years after he launched his eponymous line of shoes, clothes, and bags. His shoe designs were equal parts gothic, baroque, chic, and cutting edge. Famous for his unconventional, intriguing, and, sometimes risqué aesthetic, people started to regard his shoes as pieces of wearable art. Shoe lovers all over the world covet and collect his shoes like wonderful pieces of priceless jewels.
5. Walter Steiger
Famous for his signature curved heels, Walter Steiger's shoes are what you will call classics with a twist. The designer is hailed for his inimitable and innovative designs that practically changed the entire shoe industry. Having lived in Paris and London in the 60s, elements of Parisian Haute Couture are evident in his body of work, while the Swinging 60s vibe of London fuels his desire for constant change and freshness in his design. The brand has since collaborated with premier fashion houses like Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Nina Ricci, Chloe, and Karl Lagerfeld.
4. Louis Vuitton
In the eyes of many, Louis Vuitton can never do anything wrong. Being one of the most revered and trusted fashion houses there is, the brand is responsible for creating the most iconic and beautiful bags. Equally iconic and beautiful are their shoes crafted by the house's leather artisans. It has to be said that owning a piece of this brand is synonymous to owning a piece of tradition.
3. Manolo Blahnik
Remember the "Sex and the City" episode where Carrie Bradshaw was held at gun point in an NY street where, apart from her bag and watch, the robber also took her strappy Manolo Blahniks? Such is the power of Manolo Blahnik shoes. The designer was originally a fashion illustrator and was pluck from anonymity by then Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who told him he should focus on making shoes. He took her advise and never looked back since. Back in the 70s, we went against the grain and concentrated on creating stilettos back when everyone else was doing boots and chunky platforms. His perseverance paid off as the stiletto is considered a wardrobe staple up to now.
2. Christian Louboutin
The French footwear designer is the man responsible for creating dangerously high and sexy red-sole heels. Favored by A-list actresses and socialites, his designs scream temptress meets chic. His popularity naturally resulted to him being one of the most counterfeited designers prompting the company to create a website solely dedicated to identifying the fake stores selling fake Loubs. Today, thanks to Mr. Louboutin, higher than high heels have escaped its fantastical roots and finally became a mainstay in real women's shoe cabinets.
1 Jimmy Choo
Launched in London in the 80s, the brand is patronized by the moneyed set and pretty young things. The appeal of Jimmy Choo shoes lies in its excellent artistry and superior craftsmanship that catapulted the brand into fame. It has amassed cult-like status owing to the sheer beauty of their shoes.