At Club Chocolate in Brazil, Francesca Giobbi found a perfect backdrop for her shoes: simmering in sensuality and jetset chic. This is a label that knows the shelves of only the toniest worldwide retailers, including Browns, Barneys New York, and Joyce Hong Kong. At the sun-drenched Club Chocolate stores, Giobbi’s straw wedges and pumps featuring floral decoration or marine-colored leather were some of the best items we saw on our trip there this winter. Giobbi, a Brazilian who moved home after several years working in Europe for the who’s who of footwear (including Gucci and Jil Sander), specializes in handmade painted shoes. They should be on every woman’s must-have list.
There’s a low-key complexity to Diana Broussard’s shoes. In recent seasons, her best offering has been batik-inspired flats for the kind of women who possesses a sophisticated, well-traveled air. But Broussard is a woman who knows her way around a lass. In her a/w ’06-’07 collection, she’s pushed her aesthetic a bit, with more challenging silhouettes: strappy satin sandals with stacked heels and a platform in the front, napa leather cone heel boots with elastic gathering at the top, and black and red platforms with a stamped motif. Though a bit more daring, Broussard’s aesthetic still champions understatement over embellishment, the result of many years spent working for the right brands with the right designers. She headed up accessories under Calvin Klein, women’s wear shoes under Galliano for Dior, and was design director for Gucci under Tom Ford. By the time Broussard began to design her own line, those years of experience had coalesced to form her own aesthetic. Her style doesn’t clobber one with technical knowledge yet boasts a secure hand employing strong technique, resulting in effortlessly chic shoes. Bergdorf Goodman and Jeffrey NY stock Diana Broussard.
Earning the highest prize for a stellar collection for a/w ’06-’07, Laurence Dacade measured the trends and beyond with great strength and precision. "Luxe and elegance, chic and pure," are the designer’s own fitting words for the tight groups of aggressively feminine kettle heel strappy sandals, sweet patent leather and suede boots with a bow in front, rock romantic velour booties, and cabochon covered sandals for a "melancholic and refined winter." One after the other, these shoes leaped off the shelves at their Premiere Classe presentation, destined to make a fierce impact this fall at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.
A few seasons ago, Georgina Goodman was the shoe name that kept cropping up in London. We jumped on the story, and Goodman has gone on to become one of the most sought-after lines in the biz. The name buzzing on our most recent London trip was that of Danish designer Camilla Skovgaard. After seven years making clothes for women in Dubai, Skovgaard came to London to attend Cordwainers College and turned her sights to footwear. The story goes that Skovgaard desired to complete the look of the Arab women she dressed, who themselves were more keen on creating height with clunky platforms than refining their ensemble with elegant footwear. Only one year old, Skovgaard’s line is already making a dent with her feminine, vertiginous heels. For a/w ’06-’07 her looks include a mix of half boots in python, lizard, and buttery soft tan napa leather alongside strappy, gladiator-style sandals. The line will be on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue this fall.
Get well acquainted with these names, the quality and taste make them poised for longevity.
1-2 Francesca Giobbi a/w ’06-’07
3-4 Diana Broussard a/w ’06-’07
5-6 Laurence Dacade a/w ’06-’07