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For more than 500 years, women around the world have had a complex love affair with their shoes. Whether they are sky high, patent, dainty, silk or studded, designer heels are in demand. According to the research firm Euromonitor International, sales of designer shoes are expected to increase 20 percent a year through 2013. The best designer heel brands have their own distinctive history and a little special something that keeps them one step ahead of the pack.
Known for their signature red sole and feminine cut, Christian Louboutin heels are easy to spot. After designing shoes for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Maud Frizon, Christian Louboutin opened up his own store with red-soled shoes. Louboutin considers posture and proportion when he creates his shoes, making Louboutins extremely comfortable. With stars like Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, and Sarah Jessica Parker frequently photographed in them, they have become a symbol of elegance, status and poise.
Founded in 1996, Jimmy Choo hasn't been around as long as other luxury shoe brands, but quickly gained popularity and won the hearts of women everywhere. Jimmy Choos are frequently spotted on the red carpet, the big screen and the small screen. Choo heels have been featured in "Sex and the City," "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Sopranos." They are known for their distinctive hues and bright colors. The signature style is satin sandals.
Manolo Blahnik has been designing shoes since 1971. With a focus on detail and materials, Blahnik's shoes often utilize fur, coral, sequins, rhinestones and other embellishments. Blahnik himself still designs his shoes by hand and gains inspiration from movies, people, nature and places. In April 2011, Blahnik entered into a collaboration with TOUS, which features jewellery inspired by his iconic shoes.
Salvatore Ferragamo is known for inventing the cork wedge heel, steel reinforced stiletto and "invisible" sandal. A classic success story, Ferragamo emmigrated from Italy to the United States in 1919 and gained the reputation as the shoemaker to the stars. Now in its third generation, the company has always focused on fit. Certain styles come in six different widths, and the classic designs are a staple of any wardrobe.