However doing a bit more research into Stuart’s philosophy to shoe design, I had a change of heart. The iconic barely there Nudist sandals are one of the regular designs and while understated they are rather sexy. The Nudist is also a great canvas to start from, I ended up buying fringed pair called Lovefringe which is a variation on the original. While it’s from last year but works well in the current delicate pretty shoe trend this year. They’re also so comfy that they are definitely going to see lots of wear this summer!
In keeping with this seasons trend of wide legged trousers, I think Lovefringe looks well balanced with these massive bell bottoms.
The reason Nudist and it’s variants are so comfortable is also what I admire about Stuart Weitzman, he goes beyond the have-pen-will-draw-for-money attitude that most celebrity shoe designers take. Each new design of shoe must pass a series of 19 trials to prove itself worthy to be produced, any shoes that fail any of these will be revised until it can pass all 19 criteria before being given the seal of approval. The process and the results are both quite remarkable, sometimes with the need to think outside of the box to overcome various difficulties. Therefore Stuart Weitzman’s Nudist sandals are like none other, they look flimsy and wobbly but boy are they some of the most stable shoes I have ever worn, in part it is thanks to the use of high tech materials such as titanium.
Since the previous images don’t really show much detail of the shoe. This is a 12cm stiletto heel, and with two narrow straps. Yet this is one of the few sandals that can accomodate my toes properly. The solid join between shank and heel also means I can comfortably go to my dance lessons in these.
Their popularity on the red carpet unfortunately have spawened endless imitators, including some well established designers such as Steve Madden, Dune and Aldo making the copies. Some even look identical to the original Nudist, and others look more wearable with either a lower, chunkier heels, or wider straps, but the appearance is deceiving, the real deal is simply far more stable to wear, with virtually no flexing of the shoe, this is due to the near OCD levels of attention to detail paid during the Stuart Weitzman design process.
Two styles which imitate the original, obviously with slight differences. Left is Dune’s Mariee style, with a lower heel and thicker toe strap, and on the right, Steve Madden’s Stecy which seems to have become a regular feature of his spring summer collections.
Both available on Asos, Dune and Steve Madden
So Stuart Weitzman has definitely stolen the crown for comfort from Rupert (Sorry!) and there really is nobody else currently on the market taking this approach. However the consolation is, Rupert you are still my favourite designer, and I’m never going to give up my Elbas!