When browsing the shoe department at a high-end department store, it’s difficult to mistake an Alaia shoe for anything else. The brand has such a sharp sense of self and clear creative vision for its footwear that most of it screams “ALAIA” from across the room and forces those with the correct kind of personal taste to pay attention.
As much as a shoe like the Alaia Patent Ankle Boots can scream, anyway. The charms of this design are best appreciated at point-blank range, but the lines are so razor sharp that even from yards away, Alaia’s mastery is still apparent. In fact, in the presence of one of his pairs of shoes, it’s well-nigh inescapable.
Despite being nominally neutral and perhaps even functional as an office shoe, this design is no shrinking violets. The teeny-tiny laser cutouts have become a hallmark of recent Alaia footwear, and they take what would likely be a run-of-the-mill (if extremely precise) oxford pump to an exponentially more special place. If you’re looking for a versatile shoe that’s not the same as everything else in your closet, try these on for size. They’re spendy, but they’re also twice as cool as shoes that cost half as much. Buy through Matches for $1578.