Shoes after fashion

The television series “Sex and the City”, which was broadcast from 1998 to 2004, is often credited with helping to catapult shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo to international fame. It also reinforced a growing cult for designer shoes by luxury fashion brands such as Chanel and Dior. Although the significance of even a very popular television series should not be overestimated, Sex and the City almost certainly increased popular awareness of iconic brand names. In one episode the heroine, Carrie Bradshaw, is mugged, and although willing to hand over her watch, ring, and Fendi baguette, she is horrified when the mugger recognizes and demand her Manolos. “These guys weren’t just after money anymore, they were after fashion.” She says in the voiceover.

“I’ve spent 40,000$ on shoes” Carrie ruefully admits at another point. Based on the cost of designer shoes then, she must have had approximately 100 pairs – including pink Chanel, feather trimmed Jimmy Choos, and frilly Louboutin sandals. Although today the average American woman has only about twenty pairs of shoes, there are many shoe enthusiast with collections much larger than Carrie’s – and their numbers seem to be growing.

Retailers saw it coming first. In 2007, Saks Fifth Avenue made headlines when it announced that the new shoe department in their flagship store was so large it deserved it own zip code, 10022/SHOE.