In the women's footwear universe, few things are as instantly recognisable and iconic as the red soles on a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. Even how it came to be has become the stuff of legend: in 1993, the famed shoe designer was working on a design inspired by Andy Warhol's Flowers artwork, when he grabbed an assistant's red nail polish and painted the sole of the prototype to bring it to life. In the years since, this stroke of genius has come to signify elegance and sensuality—all it takes is a flash of red to leave an impression.
When it comes to men's shoes, however, things are a little less obvious. Even though we've seen a range of fashion-forward styles such as the chunky dad sneaker solidify their presence on the runways, subtlety is still very much key for the discerning gentleman on the street. Be it a stitch or an embossed detail, men's brands are exuding class and sophistication in the most understated ways. And if you're on the search for luxurious footwear that does exactly just that, here are seven brands to consider.
Founded in 1895 by Alessandro Berluti, this Paris-based, Italian leather goods brand crafts shoes that are in a class of their own. Now helmed by Kris Van Assche, Berluti's claim to fame include handsome Derbies and Oxfords coloured in an unmistakable patina.
The beautiful ombré effect is achieved by hand by Berluti’s artisans and gives the shoes a refined appearance. Berluti is also noted for its “Scritto” engraving, an understated calligraphy borrowed from an 18th-century letter that is inscribed into some of its shoes as an exquisite pattern.
Berluti | B1-91/92, The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands, S(018972) | 6509 1195