How to recognise these incredibly popular designer shoes


How to recognise these incredibly popular designer shoes

Buckle up

By ELLE team  October 3rd, 2017

If you’ve walked into enough luxury stores around the world, you may have honed your fashion eye enough to be able to tell your Manolos from your Roger Viviers. But chances are you could still mix up the buckles when you see them out and about in person.

For fashion freshmen who can’t tell a one stud from the other but just about get by on their knowledge of red soles, we break down what makes a lust-worthy shoe so desirable. Whether it’s spotted at your best friend’s wedding or on Karisma Kapoor, we’ll have your fashion eye trained for the big league.

How to recognise these celebrity favourite designer shoes

Tribute Sandal by Saint Laurent

Whether it comes as a flat, a stiletto or a wedge, the intertwining straps of the Tribute sandal shoe from Saint Laurent are a brand signature, much loved by both Kareena and Karisma Kapoor. The iconic sandal debuted in 2004 under then-creative director Stefano Pilati. While many companies have tried to copy or reinterpret this design, the interlocked strap will always belong to YSL's Tribute Sandal. 

Rockstud Pumps, Valentino

These are to Valentino what the Tribute is to YSL. If you see the rockstud caged ankle strap, or those little pyramid-shaped studs on elegantly crafted leather footwear, it is safe to assume the shoe belongs to Valentino. If not their pointed toe pump, the rockstud range also features open toe gladiator heels and flats. 

Tabi boots by Maison Margiela

They could almost be mistaken for any other boot, if it was not for the subtle separation Maison Margiela puts between the toes. It's toe cleavage with full toe coverage... if only T-shirts could nail this. Maison Margiela makes the boots over-sized, knee length, in metallics, with a block heel and with a drawstring, but once you see the toe separation, there's no mistaking that Margiela is the genius house they originate from.

The red sole by Christian Louboutin

It doesn't matter whether you're looking at a woman's stiletto or a man's velvet smoking slipper — if it has a red sole, you know where it came from. "The shiny red colour of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that they are mine. I selected the colour because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable, and the colour of passion," Louboutin has said of his signature red soles.

The square buckled ballerina by Roger Vivier

The designer who claims to have invented the stiletto is better known for the massive decorative buckle that sits on the toe of his shoes. The key to spotting a pair of Roger Vivier pumps is the shape of the signature buckle — a horizontally-placed rectangular buckle over of a slightly tapered square toe. And while the way the buckle is presented may vary in terms of material or adornment, the shape is never altered.

Manolo Blahnik, Hangisi

You may recognise the pumps from Sex And The City 2, but did you know they were Manolo Blahnik's Hangisi before Carrie Bradshaw gushed about them? Sure, they may look an awful lot like Roger Vivier's buckle but the Monolo Blahnik buckle is always bejewelled, and has a different shape. The satin shoe with an almond-shaped toe, the Hangisi is finished off with the designer's globally-recognisable Swarovski crystal embellished buckle detailing.

Every shoe in Sonam Kapoor’s closet

If there’s one celebrity wardrobe we’re all dying to raid, it’s Sonam Kapoor’s. The lady usually managed to jump on upcoming designers before anybody else. And who needs to follow trends when you’re the one starting them? So is she a Louboutin loyalist or a Zanotti zealot? Find out.   


But if she must indulge her inner princess, Sonam will only do it in Sophia Webster’s dainty pencil heels — The famous Chiara butterfly found its way into her wardrobe during the Neerja promotions in the form of pointed suede boots.


Give a girl the right shoes, and she’ll take over the world. Or at least your Instagram feed. Sonam found a winner in the Gucci 1953 horsebit loafers and has yet to take them off. From her annual Cannes appointments to quick getaways with her girl squad, her travel case probably has these tan beauties surgically attached. 


What’s a Bollywood A-lister without a towering stack of Jimmy Choo beauties in her wardrobe? While Sonam is helpless before a good pointed pump from the iconic shoemaker, she isn’t afraid to step out in her flat Fiona Gold sandals either.


Take a good, long look at her over-the-knee stunners and tell us, in all honesty, if you blame Sonam for being unable to choose just one at Stuart Weitzman. After picking up a pair of their highland boots in staple black, she most likely threw in the purple ones as an impulse buy at the counter. 


Cinderella can keep her glass slipper; Sonam would much rather slide on a pair of Maison Margiela’s showstopper thigh-high boots, thank you very much. Not long airport queues, nor hellish layovers can deter her from taking her leather babies out for a spin while travelling.


Friends come and friends go in the fickle world of showbiz, so we guess it’s just as well that Sonam has found a steadfast companion in her Roger Vivier pumps. The 32-year-old debuted her two-toned pick from the French powerhouse at Cannes in 2012, and has since anointed them a permanent spot in her wardrobe.