Between Cinderella and Carrie Bradshaw, we’ve found the secret to joie de vivre: Shoes, fabulous shoes! Think about it: In a pre-GPS world, happily-ever-after would not have been possible if not for Cinderella’s glass slipper; your zsa zsa zsu for shoes always outlasts that for Mr Not-So-Rights; the men are also happier because their girlfriends now want to be proposed to with a precious designer shoe in lieu of a diamond ring. And let’s face it, skinny jeans will only truly deliver their promise when they hover above gravity-defying five-inch heels. In the spirit of celebrating these lovely little things called shoes, here are four names you should get acquainted with especially if you and your walk-in are in need of a little more joie de vivre!
The mark of a good designer is his/her ability and vision in creating something so indelible and instantly recognisable that it’s destined to become an icon the way No 5 is to Chanel, and the Intrecciato is to Bottega Veneta. Antonio Marras may have just come up with an iconic wedge sandal that’s to be synonymous to his name like red soles are to Louboutin.
The cool clog-inspired wedge sandal boasts a retro appeal — oh yeah, we can absolutely see Annie Hall rocking them. Other than the clog reference, Marras, former creative director of Kenzo, clearly had fun with unusual pairings of materials, marrying patent leather with rubber for the Miro, and faux snakeskin leather with rubber for the Maine model. He puts the same signature stamp — chunky heels, playful mixing and matching of colours and swatches — on the Pitone Stamp Beige sandals, injecting a whole lot of chic into casual.
Needless to say, Ernesto Esposito has been, and still is, a force to be reckoned with in the wonderful world of shoes. Just so we’re clear on the extend of his influence on what we put on our feet, Esposito has worked with the ilk of Sergio Rossi, Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Louis Vuitton over his illustrious career, which is still going strong. His fascinating personality and flair for art are painted all over his creative designs. But he’s not only celebrated by shoe lovers around the world, no — the Italian designer has also intrigued such famous artists as Warhol, Helmut Newton and Mario Testino, who have in one way or another portrayed him in their works. The man is so cool it’d up your cool factor just by wearing one of his!
Feminine, clean-cut and modern. These are some of the words that have been used to describe Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s designs. But if you ask him, he’d tell you that the Alessandro Dell’Acqua woman is also sexy, desirable, powerful and free — qualities he strives to express through his creations. When he launched No 21 in 2010, the fanfare it was greeted with was in itself a statement of the Italian’s success and appeal as a designer. His exquisite taste in the use of colour and textures is matched only by his gifted eye for detail and quality. As a result, he’s given women everywhere — shoe fanatics, specifically — ample to smile about. If we hadn’t known that No 21 is in fact a reference to Dell’Acqua’s birthday (December 21), we’d think he’s being unrealistically humble.
Three sisters, three very different sets of skills (PR and marketing, psychology and design), one common passion — fashion. And with that passion, Es’ Givien was born. Lucky us! Hailing from the beautiful Italian city of Verona, Gaia, Nives and Vivilla conceived of a fashion brand that’s full of heart and love for Mother Nature and quality. One only needs to take a walk in their hand-made shoes to feel the meticulous steps the sisters have taken to create their version of perfection. Fashion with heart; beauty with brains — what’s not to love?