There is a theory that says you can’t go wrong with a good pair of shoes. This is a theory I have stood behind since I first learned how to walk for the simple reason that without them, as Carolina Herrera astutely pointed out in a recent episode of the Chatroom, you can’t leave your house. That’s power, isn’t it?
Consider Manolo Blahnik a patriarch of this movement. As far as I’m concerned, any time-honored shoe maker who has proven dexterity in constructing a good looking shoe that actually allows you to walk should be knighted accordingly. This includes new members of the establishment — like Charlotte Olympia and Nicholas Kirkwood, or Tabitha Simmons andLaurence Dacade. Four designers who have spent the greater portion of the past five years on the tip of fashion’s tongue. Not getting past me is that three of the four enlisted shoemakers are English.
Recently, a handful of new ones have bubbled up, demonstrating this whimsical quirk that is more and more starting to feel like a mandatory character trait among new designers. In the spirit of the megaphone treatment, here’s a look at a few that I’d recommend you keep your eyes on.
1. Camilla Elphick
Founded in: 2015
If you like the vibe of Saint Laurent shoes but kind of wish they were made better and felt a little less rock and roll, more girly, then these boots for you. If, however, that’s not the case at all but you’re nostalgic about your 90s childhood, Elphick’s Pez heel is what initially put her on the map when she launched last year.
Price point: Not low — $680-1450; get them at: Avenue 32, Luisa Via Roma
Founded in: 2012
If you’re into loafers but want the height and if you like Ann Demeulemeester but can still appreciate the colors and textures of, say,Dries Van Noten, this London-bred label — master of the mule, founded by Dora Teymur — might be in your wheelhouse. There is a bonus pair ofpatent leather pink boots that are 60s fab à la Courreges.
Price point: $192-620; get them at: Browns, Opening Ceremony
Founded in: 2014
If in your past life you felt like a renaissance rodeo cowgirl with a proclivity for retro car colors but in your current life just want to wear shoes that make you feel like you’re in house slippers, take a look at Liudmila, founded by Najeeba Hayat. The shoes maintain a vibe vaguely similar to that of Walter Steiger’s even though the designer’s experience runs a gamut from Manolo Blahnik and Chanel to Prada.
Price point: $495-1000; get them on Farfetch
Bonus! Bonus! Bonus!
Paula Cademartori might ring a bell for you due to the proliferating success of her eccentric handbags, but she launched her first footwear collection this year and if you’re looking for the same ilk of whimsy, only to wear across your feet (metallic textures and stars included!), with laces that run up — or maybe you’re looking for the perfect pair of red patent leather booties — this Milanese designer has your toes covered.
Price point: $775-1345; get them at Matches, Shoescribe, The Corner
And finally: Carel Paris is back with a bang and available for purchase in the U.S. at Opening Ceremony and Opening Ceremony only.
You’ll like these shoes because they retain that awesome futuristic 60s vibe so many of us are currently after and at the competitive price point of $280-420 for shoes that are comfortable and damn well-made, you deserve to treat yourself.
So, do it.