There are many maxims which marketers apply which state that a winning approach to sales is to “give the people what they want”. Many shoe designers, it would seem, march to the beat of a different drum – there was, prior to Paris Fashion Week, no widespread demographic writing to shoe retailers demanding the garish yellow, fluffy high heels that dominated the catwalks there.
More often than not, simple footwear will win out, in terms of acclaim and in sales figures, over more outlandish ones. This is why the Kate Middleton endorsed nude court heel has proven such a success in the market whereas many of the more outlandish styles sported by Lady Gaga have not. Yet many fashion designers will persevere with their designs which are both impractical to wear as shoes and unlikely to sell as novelty art. Here are some more of the craziest shoes ever seen on the runway:
Gianluca Tamburini’s Maximalist Shoe
Whilst Tamburini’s name may not be as well-known on the high street as some of his peers, his shoe designs are infamous in some circles. Perhaps his best known, and most preposterous, are a pair of shoes in which the designer seems to have employed a similar method in creating to that an eight year old would deploy when drawing a picture of a car; adding far too many details as to render the entire thing laughably unpractical and juvenile. Whereas an eight year old’s picture of a car may feature a rocket launcher and wings, Tumburini’s shoes feature an orange brush-like spate of fur emanating from an overly high heel which is connected to a multi-coloured body with a pseudo-snakeskin mono-strap over the front of the foot. Shockingly maximalist.
Alexander Wang’s Gladiator-less Sandaled Heels
Alexander Wang’s design seems to have taken the exact opposite approach to Tumbrini in that the designer was clearly attempting to make something approaching the most minimalist tropes possible in sculpting his footwear which can only be described as: thin block heeled, plastic, thong-toed sandals, with gladiator detailing only apparent at the top of the shin. That the rather ludicrous shoe was made from such a cheap looking plastic material that it looked less like the work of an established designer and more like a mis-designed factory second speaks volumes of the way the Wang shoe failed as a design.
The Celine Big Bird Shoe
Thanks to Mitt Romney threatening to cut funding to PBS (and by proxy, Sesame Street) and Celine’s furry felt yellow heels (said by some to look like the puppet character’s feet), Big Bird has been in the news a disproportionate amount as of late. As mentioned above, the footwear seems not to have come from a public desire for such a design but rather a designer wanting to grab the headlines with their outrageous new looks. In grabbing headlines, Celine have succeeded but in crafting a pair of shoes that will be conceivably be worn by anyone, they have failed.
About the Author
Kieron is a fashion writer who blogs regularly on the latest fashion developments for Love Your Shoes.