Lots of girls dream of owning a pair of Blahniks, especially after Carrie made them so famous on Sex and the City. There's nothing wrong with a great Blahnik, don't get us wrong, but if we're going to talk about dream shoes, the name on everyone's lips should be Stuart Weitzman. You've probably seen his Oscar collection walk the runway more than once. Known for his diamond and jewel encrusted shoes, starlets love to add these beauties to their red carpet looks.
Sometimes we're left wondering how a person manages so much talent, but in Stuart's case, it's obvious where he learned about the craft of shoemaking. He was born in 1941, and by the time Stuart turned 9 in 1950 his father and older brother had opened a shoe factory known as Seymour Shoes in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Shoes became a family business.
There's certainly an advantage in being surrounded from an early age. Learning about construction, materials, and even suppliers from the 'shop talk' that inevitably makes its way home at family-owned businesses help teach young children about what goes into making something unique. Though modern kids have seemingly all the choices in the world, the art of passing down skills over generations is beautiful. It leads to outstanding product quality and innovations in an industry as each generation tries to outstrip the accomplishments of their parents and make their own mark in the family industry.
Around 1960, just a couple of years after he graduated high school, Stuart Weitzman joined the family business as a designer. He created Seymour Shoes for a mere five years before his father passed away, leaving Stuart and his brother Warren to run the company. The brothers worked together and built up the company for another six years before they sold it to a larger company in Spain. Stuart didn't take the money and run. He chose to stay on and continue making shoes. He would expand his knowledge and skill set for a further twenty-three years before buying back his father's company in 1994. However, his time as a Spanish shoemaker must have influenced him profoundly and positively since he continues to make shoes in Spain.
What makes one shoemaker average and another astonishing? Well, part of it is the design talent. Undoubtedly experience helps as well. Mostly though, it's the heart, the eye for design, and the willingness to do what makes others hesitate. Stuart Weitzman has made shoes with clear lucite, wallpaper, and even earrings. His willingness to think outside the box is what keeps him a step ahead. In the world of high fashion, you can't be afraid to experiment and go beyond the safe styles that sell 'off the rack.'
Oscar Worthy & Outstanding
Weitzman shoes have become a staple of the red carpet. He's designed just a few pair of Oscar shoes. Notably, the $2 million "Cinderella Slippers" worn by Alison Krauss for the 2004 Oscars is one of his best-known pair. They were made mostly from clear lucite and 565 sparkling diamonds, with an incredibly rare, five karat, amaretto, Kwiat diamond detail. We mention them because they are not just from the same collection, but also clearly the same inspiration as the Diamond Dream Stilletos. You can see a clear family resemblance between the romantic fairytale shoes.
Weitzman shoes are known for their gem studded glory and beautiful pops of bright color. He is occasionally mistaken for Ronald Winston and given credit for the gorgeous commemorative "Ruby Slippers" honoring the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. Those shoes can be found in the House of Harry Winston, and while beautiful, were not Weitzman's design. However, they are tied in price with a very famous pair of shoes Stuart did design. Since both pair will run you a cool $3 Million if they ever go up for sale again, they tie for most expensive shoes in the world.
The Rita Hayworth Heels
The Rita Hayworth Heels are Stuart Weitzman's top of the line. Interestingly, they don't look much like the strappy gem rope encrusted styles he's most known for. There are gems to be sure, but the look of these shoes is very different. They were created for Kathleen “Bird” York to wear with a matching chocolate colored dress at the 2006 Academy Awards and feature a flower on the toe, the center of which is an earring worn by Rita Hayworth.
Kathleen didn't end up keeping these exotic and stunning shoes in the end. With so many collectors of Rita Hayworth memorabilia, you may anticipate that they sold at an auction, but not these beauties. They are now privately held by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. For those who aren't aware, she is Rita Hayworth's daughter.
A Dream Come True: The Diamond Dream Stilettos
The Diamond Dream Stilettos were created for a real "Dreamgirl." Anika Noni Rose, one of the actresses from the movie Dreamgirls, wore this outrageously sparkly pair of dazzling shoes to the 2007 Oscars. The absolutely stunning shoes were made with thirty carats of dazzling Kwiat diamonds set in two decorative platinum bands around the ankle. The circular sunbursts of gems are delicate and fierce on the foot, and they utilize 1,420 individually cut diamonds to create the pattern. A single slender silver strap across the toe gives a subtle nod to the diamond's shimmering splendor.
With a price tag of half a million dollars, you may be left gasping at more than the beauty of the shoes themselves. However, the price is one of the things that make these shoes genuinely dreamy. In fact, they are the least expensive pair of Stuart Weitzman heels ever to walk the red carpet. Whatever the cost, Anika looked elegant and wore them beautifully with her dark and sparkling gown.
Most people will never attend the Oscars. Beyond that, most will never wear a dress that costs even half what a good pair of Weitzman Oscar shoes runs. If you are so fortunate as to find yourself possessed of both the money and fashion sense to be shopping for the top of the line gem encrusted heels, you can consider Jimmy Choos, and look at Louboutins naturally. However, when you want to make a statement and pay a bodyguard to watch your feet, there's just one name that rises to the top of the list with effortless ease.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith