The story appears on

Page B4 - B5

December 26, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

'Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world'

BETTE Midler once said, "Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world." It is so true that a woman can never have enough shoes: they are like makeup for the feet. A pair of beautiful heels makes legs look longer, lifts the spirit, makes the wearer more confident and thus, perhaps, changes one's attitude. What else in this world could deliver all those things at once?

We know you have many reasons to spend on new shoes. But if you could "invest" in only one pair of footwear this season, what would it be? Shanghai Daily asks the opinions of four professionals, including a shoe designer, a fashion editor, a fashion blogger and a stylist.

Franco Ciciola

design director at Oriental Max Group, China's leading shoe manufacturer

"A black pump in nice calf leather, with a pointed toe.

"The trend is all about reinterpreting the classics in new ways," said the Italian who has been designing women's shoes for decades in Europe, North America and now China. "Those architecture-inspired, over exaggerated, complicated things are going to disappear," Frank Ciciola said.

We do need as many pairs of heels as possible. However, is there a style that you can wear every day, and it goes well with any of your outfits - be it a dress, a skirt, pants or denim? The answer is a pair of simple, elegant black pumps.

Wang Ting

fashion blogger, founder of, a fashion community website

"Riding boots, or military style-boots below the knee.

Wang has a lot of shoes - more than 100 pairs - but she's always has a hard time deciding what to wear. "Because most of them are good looking but not practical in terms of walking," she explains. "So at the beginning of this winter, I bought a pair of riding boots with flat heels and wide leg openings. It is so comfortable that I wear them almost every day!"

The riding boots also go well with the trendy military-style coats this season. Pair the boots with skinny jeans and lots of layers - coats, sweaters, scarves - on the top. Or you can wear them with a very feminine chiffon dress - it will make your dress look more casual chic and wearable for every day.

Maggie Mao

senior fashion editor at Grazia magazine

"Wedge ankle boots in popular earth tones.

"I love wedges," says the petite Shanghai lady. "They are heels for people who can't walk in heels. Wear them with leggings to make your legs look longer all of a sudden."

Ankle boots have been the winter trend for a while and this season they are available in the most popular earth tones. According to Mao, it is very important to choose the right color. She recommends light brown, bluish-gray and chestnut.

Hubert Chen


"Invest in a pair of expensive heels - you'll never regret it.

"Every woman needs to have at least one pair of expensive heels - Manolo Blahnik, Roger Vivier, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo - otherwise her life is not complete," Chen said, in a slightly mocking way. "They are good because they have stood the test of time, and you need to experience how good they are yourself."

The good news is that many of these expensive shoes are now available in Shanghai - ladies need no longer just dream of them while watching "Sex and the City." Most recently, stores in Plaza 66 have been opened both by Roger Vivier, the French shoe maker, and Giuseppe Zanotti, one of the most popular shoe brands for Hollywood stars.

"To wear dreams on one's feet is to begin to give reality to one's dreams," Roger Vivier once said.

Man behind a historical style icon

Francesco Russo wanted to design shoes since he was little. Growing up in a family surrounded by women (his mother was a seamstress), he was intrigued by the whole process of women coming in, trying different clothes and finally, putting their shoes on. "When a woman starts to walk in high heels, she completely changes the way she moves," he said.

Today, Russo is the creative director of Italian high-end shoemaker Sergio Rossi, a brand he defined as an "historical style icon." He has also worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Costume National.

Most recently, Sergio Rossi held a star-studded party at the city's iconic fashion venue Three on the Bund to launch its 2011 spring/summer collection. Russo dressed all the models in nude jumpsuits, together with corsets, wide belts and breastplates made of hammered brass and tan leather. "The idea is to make them look as if they were wearing nothing, so all the focus will be on the shoes," he explained.

Q: When people think of expensive heels, they think of Sergio Rossi, Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti and Jimmy Choo. What are the signature features of your shoes that set them apart from others?

A: The essential seduction. I'd like to describe them as "contemporary classic." They combine classic silhouettes and contemporary ideas in proportions and materials. For example, one of our iconic products for spring/summer 2011, "Cachet Cage," is evolved from the classic pump but with an open toe, a very heavy platform combined with a very skinny heel to bring out a contrast of heaviness and lightness.

Q: How would you describe the women who wear your design?

A: A "woman" with a big W. She knows what she wants. My shoes complement her.

Q: What is your design philosophy and the source of inspirations?

A: I have many design philosophies ... but "balance" is always the most important. I get my inspirations everywhere. I keep my eyes wide open, and my heart as well.

Q: Do you have a muse?

A: Yes, but she doesn't have a face. My muse could be an actress, a friend of mine, or a woman I see on the street ... but they all have something in common: personality. They are assertive, confident, and feel very "secure" of themselves.

Q: What are the shoe trends for spring/summer?

A: Sensuality. The return of the legacy. And, a "down to earth" attitude. For me, a trend is like something in the air. It touches anything that concerns fashion. So it can be applied to anything including shoes, bags and clothes.

Q: Which pair do you recommend from your new collection?

A: The "Asteria" with a metal brass heel. The metal heel is the highlight of the new collection as it is featured on many designs. Well, I never impose anything. I only suggest.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Blue - any shade of blue. If I have to say one, it would be lapis blue.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend