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Manolo’s Shoe Weblog

Our good friend Nancy Friedman, the Manolo’s favourite wordworker, delivers to us the witty and smarty publish on the topic of the shoe names.

Meet Caryn, who just lately took up residence in my closet.
Corso Como Caryn at

My Caryn is brown suede, from Nordstrom Rack.
I do know she’s known as Caryn as a result of the sticker on the only instructed me so. I can’t let you know who named her or whether her title has a private which means for that person. However I can inform you that “Caryn” has very specific significance for Corso Como, the producer.

Now, I’m knowledgeable title developer—companies, merchandise, e book titles—so I’m a bit extra obsessive about shoe names than the common stiletto-holic. (Disclaimer: Considered one of my clients, Arthur Beren Footwear, sells a few of the types I’ll be talking about here.)

But anybody who loves footwear ought to take an interest in shoe names. Why Because some designers identify their shoes in keeping with a not-so-secret code, and deciphering it is going to enable you to be a smarter shopper.

Take Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian brand you may know for its extensive dimension range and associations with previous-faculty Hollywood glamour. What you might not know is that all the kinds created for a season have names that begin with the identical letter.

Spring 2011, for example, is brought to you by the letter D.
Ferragamo Domizia

Ferragamo Dulcinea
Ferragamo Darleen

With Ferragamo, if a shoe doesn’t have a letter-of-the-season name, you already know it’s either (a) a perennial, like the ever-widespread Audrey (named for Audrey Hepburn), or (b) an merchandise from a earlier season that may have a discounted value.

The other major code-title technique is structural. With this strategy, the model identify is coded to determine its last—the shoe-formed wood block round which a shoe is constructed.

Fly London, which calls itself “the footwear of common youth tradition,” names its sneakers this fashion. When you see a Fly London shoe style whose name begins with “G,” you understand it has a cork wedge platform that rises to 3¼ inches, with a nubby rubber outsole on the bottom.

Fly London Gilda
Fly London Gaia

Equally, all of the Fly London “L” footwear -Lark, London, Lotto, et al.—have low, spool-formed, leather-wrapped 1½-inch heels.

Fly London Laff
Fly London Lil

My Caryn was named this manner, but Corso Como takes the system one step further, utilizing the primary two letters of the identify as the code. Caryn is a peep-toe shoe-bootie with a 2 ½-inch heel and a zipper, similar to its first-initial-C littermates Casey and Cambridge. However Corso Como sneakers that begin with Ch, such as Christian or Chorus, have 4-inch heels and thick rubber platforms. Dozer andDoze have four-inch espadrille wedge soles with 1-inch platforms, while Daile and Dalt have four-inch slender stacked heels and 1-inch platforms. (I admit I don’t know what to make of Carro, which should resemble Casey, Caryn, and Cambridge however as a substitute is a lace-up salvatore ferragamo di indonesia oxford with a 2 ¼-inch heel. I simply wish it had been accessible in my size.)

For those of us who like our sneakers to embody order and cause along with consolation and elegance, these shoe-naming formulas are oddly comforting. Ah, but not all shoe designers are logical creatures. For them, shoe-naming is a flight of fancy, whimsy, or even Teh Crazy. Extra about these names in a future publish.