Lisa (lisajayne) wrote in elizabethurley,

Stars Put Their Best Feet Forward

Hilary Alexander on a new shoe trend

These days, it is not enough to be simply the "face" of a brand; you've got to be the "feet", too. The latest trend in luxury marketing is to use the impeccably pedicured tootsies of famous red-carpet walkers.

Elizabeth Hurley for Patrick Cox
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Hot on the stiletto heels of Jimmy Choo's announcement that actress Nicole Richie, daughter of Lionel, is to be the "star" of its new campaign, comes the news that the London-based cobbler Patrick Cox has signed up no less a twinkle-toes than Elizabeth Hurley.

Hurley puts her best feet forward in a series of glossy advertisements for Cox's new spring/summer collection, which was inspired by Valley of the Dolls, the 1967 kitsch movie based on Jacqueline Susann's book.

With the requisite big hair and tanned limbs, Hurley is seen wearing gold, peep-toe, geisha-heel shoes with jewelled ankle-straps (£325); champagne satin, ribbon-tie stilettos; and studded, python-skin gladiator sandals (£250).

Cox chose Hurley, a close friend for more than a decade, because: "She's not arm-candy, she's not a teenage stick insect. She's 40, a dose of reality, an independent, strong and inspirational woman - the type of woman who buys our shoes."

There are some celebrated shoe-makers, however, who seem unlikely to follow in Cox's footsteps. Christian Louboutin, the Parisian cobbler who has a shop in Knightsbridge, for instance, does not advertise at all; instead, he relies on press coverage, and the "word-of-feet" of his many glamorous friends who wear his shoes - including Nicole Kidman, Daphne Guinness and Dita Von Teese.

And, in the past 15 years, Manolo Blahnik - elevated to first-name-only-status thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker wearing his spiked-heel designs in Sex and the City - has used just his own illustrations to promote his brand.
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