We spend a lot of time talking about shoe veterans like Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, but as we look forward to the new year, I love trying to predict which upstart brands are going to land among the stars. With the batch of talented designers below and their impressive résumés, it's exciting to imagine what they can bring to the luxury footwear market. Keep your eye on them in the new year; we know we will.
Shop Valentina Carrano via Saks
Valentina Carrano is a second-generation shoemaker, and with her strong family roots, it's no wonder she turned her career toward designing elegant, luxe footwear. Every shoe in her collection is named after an important or influential courtesan or concubine, and according to Carrano, women who wear her shoes are "ready to navigate the world and exert their influence with each step the wearer takes."
Shop Paula Cademartori footwear via farfetch.com
The name Paula Cademartori should ring a bell. We've discussed her rising profile in the handbag world and her influence amongst celebs, but did you know the bold designer has branched out into footwear? Cademartori's shoes are a perfect extension of her unique accessories aesthetic. Many of her designs feature bold colors, geometric shapes and quirky cut-outs, just like her beloved bags.
Shop Sarah Flint footwear via Barneys
She launched her eponymous shoe line at only 24 years old, and Sarah Flint's footwear is understated and practical. According to Fashionista, Flint's footwear has already won over celebs like Blake Lively, Jessica Alba and Heidi Klum, and it's easy to see why. So if you're looking for luxe everyday footwear without obvious flash or logos, Flint's shoes are just what you've been looking for.
Shop Francesco Russo footwear via Net-a-Porter
Francesco Russo is no newbie to the shoe business. His impressive résumé includes a stint at Miu Miu, as well as working alongside Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent. In 2008, Russo was named Creative Director at Sergio Rossi, and in 2013 Russo launched his own label, where flame-like vamps are already becoming his aesthetic signature. If all that doesn't convince you, he's credited as designing YSL's signature Tribute Sandal--enough said.
Shop Amélie Pichard footwear via SSENSE
Amélie Pichard's designs take retro inspirations and transform them into modern, feminine staples. Since starting her label in 2011, Pichard's business has grown rapidly, and for her upcoming Fall 2016 collection, she will be collaborating with indie boutique behemoth Opening Ceremony.