In Her Shoes: A Chat With Fashion Legend Carine Roitfeld

Carine Roitfeld - H 2015
AP Images

Carine Roitfeld - H 2015

The 'Harper's Bazaar' global fashion director and editor in chief of 'CR Fashion Book' opens up about the power of heels and why she doesn't buy shoes: "I am lucky to get them designed for me."

Fashion legend, icon and tastemaker Carine Roitfeld — the global fashion director for Harper's Bazaar and editor in chief of CR Fashion Book — took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Pret-a-Reporter about all things shoes. Between her editorial duties and her styling gigs for Givenchy, Tom Ford, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, the style powerhouse even found time to help raise $35 million for AIDS research at the Cannes amfAR gala this year — an all-time record for what is recognized as the sexiest event of the year.

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In October, Uniqlo will roll out the Carine Roitfeld collection worldwide, and we hear there's a fragrance on the way as well. With her signature sartorial looks, we can't wait to see what's next on her impressive design docket. In the meantime, take a peek into her glamorous world of shoes. 

What are your all-time favorite pair of shoes and why? 

My Alaia shoes are my favorite. They are black leather with very high heels, 11 centimeters. I wear them all the time. At Alaia, they call them "The Carine Shoes" — they have been a big inspiration for other shoe designers. 

What shoes did you wear to the amfAR event in Cannes this year? 

I was wearing Gianvito Rossi (pictured above with Tom Ford). They matched the Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane dress I was wearing very well. 

Who is your favorite shoe designer and why?

Manolo Blahnik is an iconic designer. The shoes are so comfortable, and the brand is all about elegance and creativity. He was the first to design shoes for fashion shows. 

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What do you think shoes say about a person?

I always look at the face first and then the shoes when I see or meet someone. Shoes means a lot to me! They are an important element of the personality.

Can flats be sexy for evening wear?

Its all about attitude. I started, for example, to wear high heels when I met Mario Testino — I was a bit taller than him with heels! High heels give you a certain power. 

Do you agree with the Cannes policy of women only wearing heels at their events? 

No, it’s a choice. No one can tell me what I am going to wear, and that should be the same for every woman — from Cannes to the street. 

What type of shoe do you like to see on the opposite sex?

I hate flip-flops, or those “comfort” shoes. A man looks good with boots, for example — it is chicer. I like the Gainsbourg style and I hate to see socks. 

Your favorite place to shop for shoes?

I usually don’t buy shoes. If I do, I go to stores like Saint Laurent or Celine and others. But most of the time I draw them — I am lucky to get them designed for me, like Gianvito Rossi, for example.

Photos: Carine Roitfeld/CR Fashion Book