Every serious shoe fan knows the big names, Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston, and of course, Stuart Weitzman’s Cinderella Slippers. For little girls who dream of being a princess, there are very few opportunities to become a real princess since there are less than a dozen single Princes of marriageable age in the world right now. However, feeling like a princess, and dressing like one is an achievable goal. With diamond and platinum kicks, any girl can feel the fairytale, even if she needs bodyguards for her feet while she dances the night away.
The Magic of a Great Story
We all know the original tale where a peasant girl who’d lost her titles and lands to an evil stepmother after her father died is granted her one wish by a benevolent fairy godmother. The hardworking girl wishes only to attend a ball to which she’s been invited. Of course, her evil caretaker/slave driver doesn’t want her to attend. Stepmommy dearest goes so far as to lock her up. Fortunately, with the help of some magic, a few small animals and a pumpkin, she is transformed into a finely dressed beauty.
Thus outfitted she wins the heart of her prince, but not until after she leaves him mysteriously waiting. Sadly both drama and magic have a price, and for that princess-to-be, it was a timer that ran out at midnight forcing her to run home in rags after losing one precious shoe. The smitten prince locates her with the help of the lost shoe, and they live happily ever after. It’s a darling story, at least when Disney tells it. The mysterious and gorgeously shod princess was the obvious choice for a shimmering slipper inspired peep toe heel. Clearly, Stuart Weitzman is a fan, but what artisan shoemaker wouldn’t be?
Making Magic Real
Glass shoes aren’t practical in the real world. They’re just to breakable and hard to fit. Finding a suitable substitute, however, isn’t that difficult. There’s nothing like the vibrant shimmer of a diamond to catch the eye. Nothing looks quite as magical. Cubic zirconia and crystal just can’t keep up with the luminous refraction of a pure diamond. Stuart Weitzman is like the cobblers magic elves, crafting exquisite heels as if by magic. In reality, it takes more than a wand and some swish to make a set of gem-encrusted pumps appear, otherwise everyone would be doing it.
Shoe designers like Weitzman spend years honing their skills. Each painstakingly perfected design requires research into materials and shapes, hours or even days of planning every facet (literally in this case) down to the smallest detail. Procuring exceptional quality materials from all over the world is no small task, requiring calls to dealers in gems and leathers, not to mention vast sums of cash. All of this before a single stone is ever arranged and set.
The Price of Magic
If you want magic like this, you’ll have to pay the price as well. The Stuart Weitzman Cinderella Slippers cost $2 Million. Country singer Alison Krauss wore these beauties with a golden satin dress to the 2004 Oscars. She certainly looked like a princess in them, and the million dollar amaretto diamonds that adorn the toe on each shoe made a nice pop of amber color to match her gown.
The rest of the shoes are made from platinum and Italian leather and transparent material designed to leave the foot looking utterly naked except for the dazzling diamond lace pattern. The barely-there slippers seem to float along the floor just like the 565 Kwiat diamonds (that’s 55 carats) float above the dainty foot that wears them.
The girl with the diamond slippers has a beautiful story of her own, though less dramatic than Cinderella. Allison Krauss is the child of German and German-Italian immigrants. She began learning the classical violin at the age of five but eventually transitioned to bluegrass because she loved the music. By the age of ten, she of began winning awards and by 13 had a band. A year later she recorded her first album. Though it’s not as filled with child abuse (thank goodness) her story is one of hard work triumphing. This country singing star earned every diamond on her own with her sheer talent.
She’s not the only one in the family with talent. One of her early independent albums, Different Strokes (1984) features her brother Viktor Krauss as well. She even married another musician in 1997. Pat Bergeson is a Nashville based guitar and harmonica player. The pair have a son named Sam who turns 20 this year. Hopefully, he inherited some of his folks’ outstanding talents.
Sadly, unlike Cinderella, Allison’s story ended in a 2001 divorce, but at least she got to keep the shoes. Additionally, she also got an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Moreover, she also got a street named after her in her hometown. This American Princess has undoubtedly made an impact on the world around her with her music. That’s a feat worthy of any Disney Princess to be sure.
More Expensive Than Cinderella’s Diamond Slippers
The Cinderella Slippers were once the most expensive shoes in the world by a large margin. However, that is no longer the case. Stuart Weitzman tied his own record with his “Tanzanite” Heels which feature 28 carats of diamonds, 185 carats bright blue tanzanite gemstones and two 16 carat tanzanite drop centerpieces. There’s also a pair of wild mens Tom Ford loafers by jeweler Jason Arasheben. These crazy creations are a custom order made for none other than TV celeb Nick Cannon.
Beating even that price tag are the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers with 4,600 individual rubies (1350 carats) and 50 carats of diamonds for a cool $3 million. Not to be topped so easily Stuart Weitzman created the Rita Hayworth slippers, featuring gem-encrusted earrings that once belonged to the star, which also run $3 million.
The world of elegant shoes always has more up and coming names seeking to make their place in the world. Just recently two other designers trounced the $2 and $3 million range with shoes so expensive even Stuart Weitzman might wince that the fee. The Debbie Wingham Birthday shoes look like a candy-coated confection. The current record, however, goes to a more modern and minimalistic design from Jada Dubai and Passion Jewellers. These solid gold and diamond shoes, known as the Passion Diamond Shoes go for an eye-watering $17 million.
Shoe collectors the world over lust after these simple and stunning works of art. With a strappy heel like these, you could catch a prince’s eye if you can find a prince at all that is. Finding a way to finance the purchase might even be worth it. Though the Cinderella Slippers are off the market, we can always hope some savvy designer will take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses myth soon and give a dozen more stunning young starlets and heiresses shoes worthy of a fantasy castle. Not every little girl dreams of shoes, but those who do dream of Cinderella’s famed slippers.