Christian Louboutin leads shoes not made for walking

NEW YORK Wed Sep 5, 2007 9:43pm BST

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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When it comes to women's shoes made for style rather than walking, Christian Louboutin footwear with their distinctive red soles lead the pack, according to a survey of wealthy American consumers.

Shoes by Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo were rated second and third respectively in a survey of high net-worth consumers conducted by the New York-based Luxury Institute to find the most prestigious women's shoe.

"Women's luxury shoes are a hot item these days and this is reflected in the rankings of these three brands that were relatively unknown by the general public just a few years ago," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.

"Designer shoe collecting and even obsession has become trendy and is touted in books, blogs and clubs devoted to the subject."

French designer Christian Louboutin opened his flagship boutique in Paris in 1992, hand crafting all his shoes in Italy. His shoes are now sold in upscale department stores and boutiques from Hong Kong to New York to Moscow with an average price of about $800.

Among his fans are actresses Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry and Salma Hayek.

The results came from an online nationwide survey of 715 American women with an average income of $291,000 and average net worth of $2.2 million.

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