What are the finest footwear moments on film? Here, designers and executives put their best foot — and vote — forward.
Rick Blackshaw, president, Keds
“Baby [Jennifer Grey] dirty-dancing across that bridge in Keds. She was the original brave girl; ‘Dirty Dancing’ is just an awesome movie. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Stacey Bendet, designer, Alice + Olivia
“Ruby-red slippers on Dorothy [Judy Garland] in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ When I was two, I insisted on wearing red patent-leather Mary Janes every single day for an entire year!”
Bettye Muller, designer
“Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’; she is so elegant in her little kitten heel. She’s so fabulous; that movie is a classic.”
Jamie Lawenda, creative director, Kingo Shoes USA
“John Travolta walking down the street in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ with ‘Stayin’ Alive’ playing in the background. He has these [platform shoes] on, and he’s got this great walk — they’re totally representative of the time.”
Gio Metodiev, designer, Gio Diev
“‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ when Miranda Priestly [Meryl Streep] barks a slew of orders, and before dismissing her assistant Andrea [Anne Hathaway], she calls her back and gazes critically upon her brown, round-toe clunkers. At this moment, the assistant and the audience know that ugly shoes have no place in the fashion world.”
Donald J. Pliner, designer
“‘Sex and the City,’ when Carrie’s [Sarah Jessica Parker] boyfriend put up his DJP driving moc, and she said, ‘Take them off, you’re getting the couch dirty.’”
Welcome to the future. United Nude has partnered with 3D Systems to offer customers the chance to print their own shoes via 3-D desktop printers (available to try at the label’s New York flagship). “The technology is always evolving for making shoes,” said Rem D. Koolhaas, founder of United Nude, at a packed party to fete the launch. “We do our best to explore the possibilities.” After the printer receives the size, color and style of the shoe, it produces three individual pieces — made up of melted plastic string — which, along with a rubber sole, are then glued together. Koolhaas said the high-tech offering is part of a push to expand the brand beyond footwear. “We’re focused primarily on footwear, but we’re developing into more of a lifestyle brand,” Koolhaas said. “It’s important for retail these days. People shop on the Internet, but you also want to bring people in for a real-life, unique experience.”
Ruthie Davis has her eyes on uptown. The footwear designer, who showed graphic-skyscraper heels for spring ’15, said she is starting to think about retail expansion. The location on the top of her list? Madison Avenue. “Even if you’re a cool downtown girl, you’re going uptown for shoes,” Davis said. This summer, though, the designer has another location in mind: Martha’s Vineyard, for a week’s vacation. She’ll be resting up there after having designed a custom sneaker for Lady Gaga for spring. Only time will tell if the songstress sports the style.