What happens when you spend an hour with the Shoe God who is Giuseppe Zanotti? And heelwise, how high is too high? Grazia talks to Gwyneth Paltrow's secret weapon - the designer behind her leg honing towering 13mm heels...
On his whistle stop tour to London this week (in town to launch a special shoe he's designed especially for Selfridges - but more of that later) Mr. Zanotti produced a shoe box (with no lid). 'This is my office,' he said laughing as we peered inside. It was full of Pantone pens and Polaroid pictures ('They're nearly extinct,' he said, 'but I love them!'). The Polaroids were of his customers he had met at different shop events around the globe. 'I like to get involved... meet my customers, I even sign the soles of the shoes they buy day that day!' His interest in the ‘Giuseppe woman' is the main reason for his phenomenal success. This is a man who understands what women want: 'My shoes are like a platform, you step onto the heel and feel transformed.; Something which helped achieve possibly the style transformation of 2008 - Gwyneth Paltrow's fashion comeback of course. Talking of extreme heels - something we've been hotly debating since the runway casualties at September's shows - Zanotti reassured us that comfort is something he factors in. 'I want my shoes to be functional as well as sexy,' he explains. His giant platform shoe with spike heel may look unstable but, he points out, the width of the platform cleverly cancels out the height of the heel. He even puts a special invisible rubber layer inside his shoes to make them even more comfortable to walk in.
And talking of gorgeous shoes, let's take another look at those special edition Selfridges lovelies. Navy satin and rubber sandal... and a flash of ‘Selfridges' yellow, mmmm! Available now (0800 123 400)
-By Catherine Nieto