Manolos Replacing Louboutins As It Shoe?


manolo blahnik shoe
Photo: Saks.com
Manolo Blahnik BB Suede Point-Toes Pumps in Blue, $595; Saks Fifth Avenue

Those signature red soles have been standing tall as fashion's must-have footwear —but is the French footwear brand about to lose its crown to another well-heeled company?

Though Sex and the City put Manolo Blahnik on top thanks to frequent on-screen mentions (and Carrie's closet), Christian Louboutin has taken the fashion world by storm with his more-is-more, towering styles.

Yet, according to the New York Times, Blahnik may reign once again.

A 2007 Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News survey reportedly found that 37 percent of women would bungee jump off the Golden Gate Bridge in exchange for a lifetime supply of Manolo Blahniks—and the Times' evidence that the brand is having another major moment includes Kate Moss’s choice in wedding shoes (white Manolos, naturally), Marc Jacobs's nod to MB's classic mary jane in his Spring 2012 collection, and a Vogue cover shoot where Sarah Jessica Parker exclusively wears Blahnik's BB pump.

“I walked in and looked around and saw all these shoes, and then I spotted the Manolos and it was like water in a desert,” Parker told the Times of the shoot. “I was just so excited to see a simple black pump.”

“It was a chic idea for a minute,” Manolo Blahnik USA president George Malkemus said of Louboutins. “You wore a red sole, and everyone knew you spent $1,200 or $1,400 for your shoes. And I would say there was a period when certain customers abandoned us and moved into that world.”

We can’t imagine Louboutin lovers will abandon those red soles (although think of the Kardashian yard sale potential!), but retailers, too, are seeing the return to Blahnik.

“Manolo’s shoes are very much in the spirit of this moment’s clothes, pared down, with simple lines, and I hate to say ladylike, but classic,” said Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo.

In related news, a recent study found that one in three women carry extra shoes in their purses when wearing heels.

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