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Manolo Blahnik vs. Christian Louboutin — Fall 2011 Shoe Trends

Manolo Blahnik Makes a Comeback, Is Again in Demand


>> After being overtaken for a few years by Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik is back in the spotlight. Recent deliveries of a particular Manolo pump sold out so fast, Bergdorf Goodman had to institute a waiting list. “Manolo’s shoes are very much in the spirit of this moment’s clothes, pared down, with simple lines, and I hate to say ladylike, but classic,” said Linda Fargo, SVP for women’s fashion at the store.

“We do a very, very strong business in his shoes,” added Jonathan Joselove, SVP and merchandise manager for Neiman Marcus, noting that the stores have difficulty keeping certain Manolos in stock.

As the New York Times points out, Kate Moss wore a classic pair of Manolos for her wedding this past Summer, and Sarah Jessica Parker was shot exclusively in the Blahnik BB pump in the August issue of Vogue. “I walked in [for the shoot] and looked around and saw all these shoes, and then I spotted the Manolos and it was like water in a desert,” Parker explained. “I was just so excited to see a simple black pump.”

Of Louboutin's more embellished shoes and signature red soles, George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, says: “It was a chic idea for a minute. You wore a red sole, and everyone knew you spent $1,200 or $1,400 for your shoes. And I would say there was a period when certain customers abandoned us and moved into that world.” But, as Blahnik himself added last week: “The gimmicky thing I’m not very keen on. I’ve never been tempted to do these hideous furniture shoes.”

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