Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik & Christian Louboutin
High-end women's shoes
If you've ever caught an episode or two of Sex and the City, you probably remember a reference or two to Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo. Were one of those Mr. Big's real name? Not quite, although Carrie Bradshaw was probably just as enamored of them as she was of her tall, dark and handsome boyfriend.
In reality, Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish shoe designer (his father was Czech, hence the very unSpanish name), and Jimmy Choo is a shoe firm headed by a British woman (although historically actually owned by a couture shoemaker whose original name was Jimmy Chow). Both have been the darlings of shoe lovers in recent years.
However, Sex and the City has come to a close, Carrie's with Mr. Big, and women still want shoes. Really nice ones. So the question is, which of these designers is hotter? Which is making the trendier shoe? Which is cobbling the strappy sandals, slingbacks, stilettos and pumps that have women everywhere swooning?
Let's take a look at the relative volume of searches for Mr Choo, Mr Blahnik and Mr Christian Louboutin, a French up-and-comer in the world of fine women's shoes:
Let's check the trends
A little analysis
So what's going on here?
* Manolo Blahnik is on the slow decline, its chief supporter in popular culture, Sex and the City, off prime time and into syndication (kind of like seeing knockoffs of haute couture appearing in Wal-Mart)
* Jimmy Choo has taken the helm, supported by a PR-savvy head, Tamara Mellon, and hot accessories such as celebrity-adored handbags. A spike in activity occurred in early 2006 when Jimmy Choo announced his departure from the firm who took his name.
* newcomer Christian Louboutin, known for his signature red insoles, has traversed the Atlantic from his native Paris and made a hit in the U.S., popularized by the Olsen twins and Jessica Simpson. His shoes have begun to appear at retailers such as Neiman Marcus, and online.
Metrolopi of taste
Maybe unsurprisingly, the cities running the largest number of searches are New York, Irvine (hello? the O.C.) and Los Angeles, cities renowned for their pret-a-porter fashion sensibilities and knock-out beautiful women.
Particularly admired in the UK is native Jimmy Choo, who, despite what you might have read, really is a person, although the brainchild behind the brand's style and image is Tamara Mellon, who brought worldwide fame to a small couture brand.