by Kristen Gray

Alexandre Birman – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Something exotic. Something with rich hues. Something animalistic. Brazilian designer Alexandre Birman delivers all of these quality characteristics with his handmade women’s footwear. Since his first collection launch in Spring 2008, he has been recognized for utilizing quality by creating heels with colorful snake skins, highly detailed lines and shapes, contrasting hues, fine leather, wood soles and feminine straps and laces. His shoe collection is guaranteed to take you straight to a tropical island where you are the goddess.

Charlotte Olympia – London, UK
Are you all about themed, funky footwear? If so, Charlotte Olympia has something that will surely tickle your fancy. Skulls, kittens, red lips, cherries, comics – do we need to go on? Her shoe collection is a one-way ticket to a bubblegum pink fantasy land of your choice. A few of her wildly creative collections include: Eastern Cosmic and Western Cosmic, the Charlotte and Olympia Pin Up collection, the glitzy and ritzy Encore collection, the Overboard collection full of nautical delight; and even a muted Runaway Bride collection. You may know this designer by her famed kitten flat, the Cat Nap. Our favorite is her Spring 2014 collection, perfect for any cruise.

Gianvito Rossi – Milan, Italy
There’s nothing quite like slipping your foot into something simple and lightweight without sacrificing flair. Hailing from Milan, Gianvito Rossi’s shoe line masters clean lines, simplicity, and classic shape with a touch of pizzaz that shouts, “Hey! I may look it, at first, but I am not like the rest.” Our top pick is the Sparkle Sandal in red, a thin lightning bolt design ankle strap sandal – not your typical ankle strap sandal!

Aquazzura by Edgardo Osorio – Florence, Italy
Sophisticated, yet with a wild side: the personality of Edgardo’s Osorio’s collection for Aquazzura. This Colombian designer masters women’s footwear—attractive to all ages—by combining classic design with modern edge. His it-shoe, the Sexy Thing Booty, has made a worldly impression and is on many wish lists: it is currently sold out! By fusing couture with comfort, Osorio has made a lasting name for himself.

Nicholas Kirkwood – London, UK
When we view Nicholas Kirkwood’s collection, we imagine a Palm Beach housewife with retro elegance. His heels are ooze femininity, yet maintain a strong sense of sophistication. Frequent color pairings are seen with beige, red, blue, and turquois. He also does black and gold very well for that special night at your favorite cocktail lounge. Kirkwood has a small sub-collection of loafers and boots for men too. If nothing enchants you, no need to worry because he also offers made-to-order footwear for both men and women in exotic materials like alligator, crocodile and ostrich – oh my!

Tabitha Simmons – New York, US
Tabitha Simmons first caught our eyes when we saw her collaboration with
TOMS shoes, which we love, by the way, not only because they are comfy and
versatile, but they also have so many options. Simmons is a stylist-turned-shoedesigner whose line has a unique look. She prioritizes comfort, but it doesn’t affect style whatsoever. Her collection has a very whimsical feel with traces of British influence. Heavy use of black and white makes her pieces timeless, while the inclusion of buckles and straps gives them their signature British zest. Our favorite pair is the Josephina White/Black Kid: a white pointed toe pump with multiple black thin buckles straps and a thin heel—ultra chic!