January 6th, 2012
Celebrity Style, Fashion Bomb 101, Shoes, Shopping
Fashion Bomb 101: 15 Luxury Shoe Brands You Should Have on Your Radar
By Claire

In an e-mail titled, “Other Shoe Brands to Know,” Brittany writes, “It is hard to believe that there once was a time before Christian Louboutin was the coveted shoe. Now a lot of us seem to be over the red bottoms. Could you do a post about other fabulous designer shoe labels that should be on our radar?” Though we mentioned several alternative shoe brands in this archived Fashion Discussion titled, “Do You Need Red Bottoms to Elevate Your Shoe Game?, perhaps that post wasn’t clear…so we broke it down with 15 of our favorite (non red bottom) luxury shoe brands:

1. Giuseppe Zanotti

Nicki Minaj wasn’t playing when she declared Giuseppe Zanotti heels, “the monster shoe.” From sneakers to pumps to heel-less sandals and wedges, Zanotti has it all–and celebs are clear fans.

Zanotti’s star client list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood. Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Cassie to Keri Hilson has been spied in a pair of their pumps or wedge heels:

From my personal experience they’re more comfortable and somewhat more affordable than Louboutins (especially during sale season). Take a look at a few current styles:

2. Nicholas Kirkwood

Though Nicholas Kirkwood of course has his share of regular pumps, he makes a splash by playing with platforms, along with alluring lace ups, and colors:
Beyonce, Lala, and Ms. Dynamite have been seen in brand’s lace up platform sandals, and Thandie Newton loves chic Kirkwood pumps:

Try these on for size:

3. Charlotte Olympia
Charlotte Olympia’s signature ‘island’ platforms offer height and a distinctive look. Jennifer Lopez, Estelle, Erica Reid, and Kim Kardashian have all worn a pair, sidling up to the brand’s vertiginous heels:

Editors, socialites, and the fashion set clearly cosign:

Get ‘em here:

4. Brian Atwood
Want conservative class? Opt for Brian Atwood. Never audacious, the platform beauts set a stylish standard without an in-your-face aesthetic.

J. Lo and Zoe Saldana are two of the brand’s biggest clients; both have been papped several times in the alluring heels:

Atwoods will run you $600+, though the lower priced yet equally cute B by Brian Atwood line has options in the $300 range:

5. Walter Steiger
Heel curator Walter Steiger is now more known for his curved heels than anything else. The family owned company has a small, but growing client roster amongst Hollywood glitterati, including Nicki Minaj, Ashanti, and Beyonce.

Walter Steiger heels are a bit elusive–they’re not stocked in many luxury department stores, which only adds to their caché:

Prices start at $300 (on sale) and up. Get ‘em at Barneys.com.
6. Gianmarco Lorenzi
Gianmarco Lorenzi shoes are known for their bright colors and super high platforms.

Nicki Minaj likes to take risks with her footwear, so she’s frequently spied in pairs on various red carpets:

Beyonce is also a client, wearing Lorenzi shoes for casual dates and blockbuster videos:

Look to spend anywhere from $500-$1,000:

7. Pierre Hardy

French brand Pierre Hardy colorblocks with the best of them, and also offers fun deviations like paillette peppered heels, and metallic tinged sandals:

While Hardy’s flow in and out of favor with women (depending on the season), men stay fly in Pierre Hardy sneaks all year round:

Pierre Hardy shoes average $500 and up, though you can find some on sale for around $300:

8. Ruthie Davis

Ruthie Davis’s neon, spiked, look-at-me heels have been worn by everyone from Amber Rose to Beyoncé.

Davis’s styles make a splash thanks to fun details like deconstructed heels, vivid bursts of color, and fun embellisments:

While few celebs are adventurous enough to try her more bold styles, trust us when we say there’s a lot to love. Expect to spend $500-$1,000 (but keep an eye peeled for sample sales!):


9. Camilla Skovgaard

Danish designer Camilla Skovgaard makes shoes her own with signature spiky, serrated rubber soles. Whether playing on sandals or pumps, the soles render regular shoes fun, edgy, and walking works of art:

Kimora Lee, Kim Kardashian, Brandy and Halle Berry have worn the brand, catering particularly to its leg lengthening cutout sandals:

Prices start at $250 (on sale), and go up, up, up:

Aside from loving a few particular shoes designers, we of course can’t get enough of the accessories available at select fashion houses. In addition to offering amazing ready-to-wear, these brands also have the shoe game on lock.
A few of my favorites:
10. Lanvin

If you love Lanvin dresses, you’ll adore Lanvin shoes. It seems the brand always offers the highest yet most elegant wedges and heels, with sexy strap details and ribbon ties.

This season, they came out with cut out heels, laser cut boots, and pumps with sequined flower embellishments:

11. Prada & Miu Miu

Big sister Prada and little sister Miu Miu consistently offer unique and intriguing footwear. Every season, stylistas like Rihanna, Kourtney Kardashian, and Monica take their pick of polka dot platforms, brogues, ankle strap pumps:

Prada and Miu Miu shoes are comfy, and have sick sales.
Check out a few Prada picks here:

And more from Miu Miu:

12. Fendi

Yes, Fendi goes a little overboard with logos sometimes, emblazoning boots and sandals with the ubiquitous “F” on the toe box:

But once you get past the logo lovin, you can cling to Fendi’s adventurous hues, high platforms, and classic swagger:

13. Gucci

Gucci is known for understated luxury, and their shoes reflect the house’s sensibility.

The brand excels in nimble sandals and ankle strap platform pumps:

14. Versace

Want a pair of bright, high as the sky, can-barely-walk, couture/stripper heels? Look no further than Versace:

Somehow the brand made ‘pole’ inspired platforms de rigeur, and Fashion Bomb celebs love them:

When you rock with Versace, you’re rocking with neon hues and 5 inch platforms:

Only the strong need apply:

15. Yves Saint Laurent

Nothing says ‘classic’ more than YSL Trib and Tribtoo pumps and sandals. When you need a ‘go-to’ shoe, look no further:

Aside from their now classic pumps and sandals, you can tap YSL for everything from funky wedges to spiked booties:

Of course this list is far from complete. Every house from Louis Vuitton to Givenchy to Dolce & Gabbana , Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino make amazing shoes. And we can’t forget mainstays like Sergio Rossi and Jimmy Choo.
This was just a short list of our faves.
What are some of your favorite luxury shoe brands?

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71 Responses to “Fashion Bomb 101: 15 Luxury Shoe Brands You Should Have on Your Radar”

  1. mz_orb says:

    Have a couple pairs of Pierre Hardy shoes. Zanotti has been my fave shoe designer for years.

  2. MonroeB says:

    This is DEFINITELY one of the best posts of all time! Love it! Good Job!

  3. Coop says:

    Awesome!!!! All these shoes are great!!!

  4. Brittany says:

    Great post!

  5. Savage says:

    When I grow up, I will have these shoes..lol

  6. Candace says:

    Best. Post. Ever.

  7. Brittany-who emailed says:

    Thanks a bunch Claire. I wasn’t aware of some of these designers.

  8. lolodoll says:

    My favs – Giuseppe, YSL (although some of their shoes look a bit cheap), Prada / Miu Miu, Gucci and Brian Atwood.

    I would add Proenza Schouler to the list. Have several pairs that I love and their fairly comfy. On the fence re: Charlotte Olympia. I TRY to like her front platform / spikey look. Can never force myself to buy a pair. Nicholas Kirkwood – like them but his shoes are too narrow for my feet. Lanvin – Bleh and overpriced.

    Sooo sick and tired of seeing Louboutins. Chicks will spend all of their rent money to covet a pair of as they call them (red bottoms). I refuse to buy another pair. Haven’t in 2 yrs. Oh and don’t get me started on the back shot photos just to show off the red bottoms. Soo tacky!

    Ok….Woosah Lo! Have calmed down now. Great post!

  9. nicole says:

    I LOVE and appreciate this Post!!!

  10. yusufswifee says:

    wow…okay…love this post.

  11. T1K says:

    Great post! L.O.V.E it! Shoes shoes shoes…..

  12. Crystal says:

    That is my all time favorite look from NIa Long. I love Lanvin’s versatility and I love YSL for being classic. Makes the investment a little more justified. I’ve never seen a pair of Walter Steiger’s in person. I bet they’re beautiful but I wonder how they feel on the foot?

  13. Jada King says:

    Love all these shoes but can rarely ever find ruthie davis shoes, so thanks

  14. Ay says:

    You just brightened my day :) Nicholas Kirkwood makes some really dope shoes, as do the other designers mentioned in this post, and I will certainly be treating myself this Valentines day to a pair. I’m really over every one talking about “Red Bottoms” and certain Z List Celebs, not saying any names (Evelyn) acting like Loubs are the end-all, be all to designer shoes. Step your shoe game up ma!

  15. Martinique_Fr says:

    As a shoe addict, this post honestly made me giddy… BEST POST EVER (in my book). This is why I love this site. Bravo Claire! Now let me go back and look at these shoes AGAIN.

  16. Kitty B. says:

    High end shoes 101! Love the post <3

  17. Kristina says:

    Love this post!!!…red bottoms are not the be all end all as so many think

  18. Bukky says:

    Because I follow this site, I’ve learned about these shoe brands and have grown to appreciate brands other than the “red bottoms.” Thanks Claire for keeping me fashion savvy and making me aspire to own a pair of G. Zanotti shoes before I leave this earth. :o)
    Great post.

  19. Nicole says:

    Inspired!..By this post!!!…I <3 fashion!!

  20. Kristal says:

    Can someone tell me where I can find an more afforable option to Beyonce’s orange dress?

  21. Seeing all these fab shoes makes me feel so warm and fuzzy…..

  22. Miss Smith says:

    This post was a breath of fresh air. Thanks for helping people expand their designer vocabulary Claire. Hopefully, I won’t have to hear the term “red bottoms” for a while.

  23. alecea says:

    BEST POST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omgoodness i was not ready for that! *sitting on the edge of my chair face 1 inch from the computer screen*

  24. joy says:

    Casadei should be on that list too. This is shoe game 101.

  25. CG says:

    I definitely had to bookmark this page! I’m always looking for new “it” shoes.

  26. Vee says:

    Valentino makes lovely shoes too. And for those looking to expand their shoe brands, esp. smaller designers who make great shoes, look on NetaPorter especially now during their sales bc the shoes are great prices. Though I love Louboutin [and shudder whenever they're called red bottoms] a true fashionista indeed should love all shoes and designers and not be “pressed” to be seen with red bottoms and red bottoms only.

  27. iQgraphics says:


  28. Anonymous says:

    Awesome post. Im going to print it and put it on my wall :-)

  29. SideEye Mimi says:

    Long but worth it…I’ll never put my blog up here again, but as a blogger these are all my favorites, well most of them, camilla’s shows make me giddy, it think it’s the way she designs her platform.

  30. Anonymous says:

    And Kim K’s butt is huge in that Gucci shot…Nothing to do with shoes but it had to be said :-)

  31. Michelle G says:

    Hey, Claire. I really enjoyed this post but I thought towards the end there could have been more brands outside of the BIG ones (ie. Prada, YSL, Fendi, Versace, Gucci). No mention of Sergio Rossi, Manolo Blahnik, Stuart Weitzman, Tabitha Simmons, Diego Dolcini, Casadei, Alejandro Ingelmo and more. Get the word out there about these fab shoes!

    I appreciate this post and think it’s great for you to continue to educate. Looking forward to your post on bags especially Celine, Chloe, and more. Stop the COACH Nonsense!

  32. candylicker says:

    This was a good post

  33. cyd says:

    great post!!!

  34. David says:

    Love Pierre Hardy for men Lanvin is overpriced

  35. Siyam says:

    fabulous post! I am a fan of Jimmy Choo, but I recently found a Giuseppe Zanotti store at my job and literally drooled :)

  36. Vee says:

    MB makes old lady shoes imo and lovely bridal shoes.

  37. Takara says:

    This is the best post ever…….I was just thinking this. I’m so tired of all these woman wearing and talking about Christian Louboutin’s. I have a couple of pair and it’s very annoying when see knock off’s or even so many people wearing them. I am over Christian’s for a season! YSL,Chole,&anything DoPe……Thanks Fashionbomb for the help us ladies really needed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Q says:

    shoe-gasm!!!! i was made a special way to not be able to fit the majority on this list *pouts* lol

  39. sun.kissed says:

    Not to throw salt, but this just goes to show you the power of a rapper putting a designer’s name in his songs. How on earth does a woman who considers herselft stylish (and follows this site), not know of other luxury shoe brands other than ‘red bottoms’? If you shop Louboutin, then the same places you get those, ie, Saks, Neiman’s, Barney’s, Bloomingdales—you will find these other brands too. I’m just saying…
    With all that said, it was indeed a great post! Shoes are definitely my favorite accessory.

  40. Tanya Maia says:

    This is my first time leaving a comment on your site, but I had to because this post is AWESOME!!!

    As an avid shoe lover, I’m happy to see you introduce other brands than Louboutins. Prada, Choo, Gucci and Kirkwood have been killing the game for years!!!!

    Valentino has been giving me LIFE for the past few seasons too.

    awwww…I love shoes! lol Great post!!!

  41. Brenda says:

    Waiting for your pictorial on Fashion Bomb 101: Luxury Handbags. This is the best post ever. A great way to start the New Year. Your blog just keeps getting better.

  42. Dee says:

    This post could give any couture shoe loving gal a heart attack.

  43. ummmm says:

    Umm, we can’t forget Diego Dolcini, Casadei, Tabitha Simmons, Alejandro Ingelmo and Givenchy (who’s had the hottest botties come Winter season for the last few years)!!! There are a lot of other high end (and some not-so-high-end) brands with designs that trump some (I said some, not all) of CL’s outlandish designs.

  44. Utibe Akpaninyie says:

    I am DROOLING over some of these shoes. ♥

  45. Yesss, ladies we must keep our shoe game on point all throughout 2012. I appreciate this post. Thanks Fashion Bomb Staff!

  46. Dobe says:

    Great post!

  47. BougieHippie says:

    Thanks for posting some dudes shoes!

  48. Missus says:

    OMG!!! Shoe PORN!!!! **moan** thank u! Wowza….Ashanti Halle LaLa Amber Rose and Nicholas Kirkwood are all I need in life….luv em all and I’m a married hetero woman :o) ya’ll did me in with this post!

  49. Bebe says:

    This is a good post to keep us up to date on luxury shoe brands. They are great to look at but it would be nice to view brands that are obtainable as well. Not everyone is in the market for $500+ shoes.

  50. NikkiBellaRay says:

    God bless this post, made my day so much brighter!

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