The Soles of Men

Dec 11, 2012

High heels are a lady’s luxury, but a gentleman’s creation. The current market for designer shoes is dominated by an array of international male designers, dedicated to fulfilling women’s desires for elegant footwear. In addition, some of the most elaborate shoe designs derive from British based designers.
Manolo Blahnik began making shoes in London in the 1970s. He opened his first shop in 1973 on Old Church Street in Chelsea. Blahnik’s designs are characterised by sinuous silhouettes and sharp stiletto heels. He used an arts and crafts style as inspiration for his autumn/winter 2012 collection, and in September he launched an exhibition at Paris Fashion Week to celebrate 40 years in fashion.
The designs of Christian Louboutin have similar origins in art. His shoes have signature red-lacquered soles, and the designer claims the inspiration for the red soles came from Paris’ Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, where he saw a drawing of a woman’s shoe with a sharp heel slashed out by a red line.

The lavish designs of Louboutin and Blahnik come at towering prices. However, male designers also dominate among more affordable high-street footwear brands. The upmarket clothing label Ted Baker branched out into ladies’ shoes in 2002, and Ted Baker shoes are often bold and glamorous. The current range includes a large selection of court shoes and platform heels. A handful of designs have a gold interior and sole, such as the Oaker platform court shoe, which is made from black satin with an extravagant pink satin bow at the ankle. These shoes would dazzle at a Christmas party.
Platform heels are in style this season; they are also the trademark style of shoe label Steve Madden. The current range of Steve Madden platforms includes statement details like pointed gold studs, meaning that you can make an impact on a special occasion at a reasonable price.
Manolo Blahnik has wisely observed that shoes “help transform a woman”. You can enhance your wardrobe feet first, even if the shoes are designed by a man. Check out male designers at outlets or multi-brand retailers, and you will find many names are looking to branch into the lucrative world of ladies’ footwear.

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