You’ve had the privilege of interviewing shoe designers from all over the world—has there been anyone in particular who has made a lasting impression on you? Giuseppe Zanotti. Every time I come out of his showroom I feel so happy, so alive, so energised. He shares my philosophy in that shoes create moods, bring out different parts of your personality—and above all he lives to make women feel good in his shoes. He is also a true artiste in every sense of the word and he absolutely loves what he does. He is very inspiring to be around and visually his showroom is like being in the most amazing shoe exhibit ever. Because showrooms tend to show what the designer has created versus what buyers actually buy and we see in stores, it is a glorious place of his amazing imagination.
As a shoe expert you’ve done everything including hosting fashion shows and commentating on the red carpet to writing books and contributing to publications like the Huffington Post. Is there a favourite aspect of your job?
My two favourite aspects are research and discovery—discovering new shoe talent, new ways of manufacturing, new ways of wearing shoes, ways to make them more comfortable or juice up your shoe wardrobe for less…just learning and discovering makes me so happy. And then talking to people—interviewing them about their shoes, finding out what makes people tick through their shoe choices. I love it.
In your opinion, is there a celebrity you think always nails the red carpet?
For shoes Cameron Diaz always has an amazing sense of footwear, what is on trend and how to mix it up with different looks. Gwen Stefani I really admire, and Nicole Kidman as well, Nicole will take risks with new designers which I like.
What’s your personal style when it comes to shoes? Is there a favourite pair you have in your closet or a favourite designer?
Azzedine Alaia, Jerome Rousseau, Giuseppe Zanotti, Nichols Kirkwood—and up and comers like Nicole Brundage, Raph Young, Tabitha Simons, Dana Davis, Oldenhaus. I go really nuts for Alaia and Rousseau. Alaia has a special way of making shoes that are well built and sexy and he puts out a very edited collection, which I love. Rousseau is truly a designer to keep watching. I wrote his first press story back in 2008 breaking him to the market in JCREPORT and even then I was blown away by how he makes new shapes for shoes. It’s incredibly difficult to create and pull off new shapes because shoe shapes have pretty much been the same for thousands of years and he manages to keep creating new ones along with incredible detailing and materials.
What shoe trends will we see for this coming winter?
It is really such an amazing time for shoes. Everything goes right now which I love. There’s the high platform chunky clog boot feeling that’s very boho fabulous, there’s the ladylike return to a basic Stiletto with pointed toe and two and a half inch heel, there’s the chunky high heel loafer in really poppy colour ways, there’s the Converse Chuck in all sorts of custom colours and configurations (so many of the girls in Paris wear chucks with black tights and skirts which I love), there’s the flat oxford lace up for the Annie Hall type girl. We are going to see different materials come to the fore like fish skins. Manolo did a shoe made out of used Tilapia skin—very eco-friendly which we will start to see more of also. Oh! It is truly a shoe smorgasbord out there right now. Incredibly delicious on every level.