Famous for excruciatingly high heels and similarly painful price points, Manolo Blahnik nevertheless inspires cult-like dedication among his customers. He even does bridal shoes, though we don’t recommend the alligator boots for anything matrimonial–unless it’s a bachelorette party. The $14,000 pair is available at Manolo Blahnik’s West 54th Street boutique in New York.
In 1854, Louis Vuitton opened his first store in Paris. A century and a half later, the luxurious French luggage maker is known for far more than his signature monogrammed trunks and purses, and these Vienna Minimalisa High Boots in ostrich leather prove it. The boots are part of Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2005/06 collection.
Chanel’s timeless shoe collection includes everything from outrageously red strappy sandals with the double C logo emblazoned on the front, to demure quilted ballet flats. These alligator and lambskin pumps, from Chanel’s Cruise 2006 collection, walk the middle ground. While appropriate for the office, they could easily take you from lunch to the shops to dinner on a Saturday.
Salvatore Ferragamo believed that the arch of the foot was one of the most important parts of the body, as it supported the entire body’s weight. The Italian designer brought this philosophy to bear on every pair of shoes he created, and the company, still family-owned, carries on today in the same tradition. The crocodile Avila shoes pictured above are from the Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2006 collection. Hoping to save a few bucks? The same pair is available in ostrich for $865.
Roger Vivier, the brand that now shares an owner with Hogan and Tod’s, made the shoes the Catherine Deneuve wore in Belle du Jour in 1967. Today, the designs remain as classy and restrained as ever, with a giant satin rose as close to ostentatious as this shoe gets. The prices, however, are a bit bolder.
Based on the philosophy that the right shoes and handbag matter more than clothing and jewelry in crafting an image, Jimmy Choo has catered to celebrities, socialites and the merely rich since its founding in 1996. These red crocodile pumps are a great example of the brand’s sexy, modern approach to footwear. They magically transform an everyday pump into a luxurious must-have.
Featured twice on our list of the top ten most expensive, it’s obvious that Louis Vuitton does something right when it comes to women’s footwear–boots, especially. These are too pretty to tramp through the snow in. We vote you save this pair, the Vienna Flower High Boots, for dinner and drinks. But by all means, wear them out on the town, whatever the weather, if you’re traveling via town car.
Gucci is one of Italy’s best-loved brands, and sunglasses, bags, shoes and watches with the famous G logo are staples of the wardrobes of models, rappers and fashionistas everywhere. The boots pictured above are violet leather high-heel boots, with a side zip on the inner leg and light gold hardware. The heels may be prohibitively high, but a sensible rounded toe makes this boot more domestic than dominatrix.
The snakeskin on this shoe transforms it from an everyday staple to the prima donna of your shoe rack. It comes from Bottega Veneta’s Fall/Winter 2005/06 collection, and the roomy toe, ankle strap and graceful heel make this one star worth the investment.
At just under $1,000, this Escada evening sandal is a relative bargain–and one of the most interesting shoes on our list. It’s part of Escada’s Spring/Summer 2006 collection. You can also have a matching clutch for another $995.
This shoe was christened Black Box, after the stark, dark container in which it is sold to customers. The look is definitely more WASP funeral than young and trendy, but that’s part of Givenchy’s charm: unflagging attention to detail and quality make it a timeless choice for a gift.