{iStyle} Where Pradas Were Born

Prada shoes

Prada shoes

By: Julia Rachlin, guest blogger

Imelda Marcos has nothing on this Prehistoric Fashionista.

Ms. Marcos may be the most prolific owner of shoes today with over 3,000 pairs, but she has an unknown Armenian trend-setter to thank for starting the shoe-wearing initiative. Without this lady who lived over 5,500 years ago, before Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids, who knows, Imelda might be wearing Birkenstocks!

A few days ago, the New York Times reported that Archaeologists have found what they believe is the world’s oldest known leather shoe. You may wonder how this shoe was able to last this long before the time of cedar closets and air-tight storage bins from the Container Store? Well, those prehistoric folk were nothing if not innovative!

They found this shoe preserved in layers and layers of sheep dung. Makes your boyfriend’s shoes seem like they smell like roses, doesn’t it?

The shoe they found, made of cowhide tanned with plant or vegetable oil and leather laces through eyelets was filled with grass, perhaps an old-school shoe tree….but the best part about this?

Not only did these Chalcolithic era dwellers have style, they also knew how to party!

Inside this cave where the shoe was found, the Archaeologists also found evidence of a wine-making operation. Sounds to me like this cave may have been the Flintstones version of “The Hills”!

In fact, according to one of the Archaeologist team leaders,

“The cave appeared to be mainly used by “high-status people, people who had power…. But some people lived up front, probably caretakers providing the Chalcolithic equivalent of valet parking.”

Ha! Lauren Conrad would be jealous.

She’s got nothing on Fred and Wilma!

Manolo Blahnik via Forbes.com

Manolo Blahniks via Forbes.com

Now that we know about the oldest shoe, I am curious to look to the other end of the spectrum – the most expensive shoe. According to Forbes.com, one of those list-toppers is this pair of $14,000 Manolo Blahnik alligator boots.

But for some, that may still be in the realm of realistic. To truely ‘wow’, I came across this list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Shoes in the World. Several of these multi-million dollar incarnations were created by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman to be worn to the Oscars by an up-and-coming star who he deemed that year’s “Hollywood Cinderella.”

Number Two on the list is Weitzman’s $2,000,000 “Cinderella Slippers” worn by Alison Krauss to the 2004 Academy Awards. These 4 1/2 inch stilettos are made with 595 carats of Kwiat diamonds, and one shoe is set with a 5-carat amaretto diamond, alone worth $1M.

"Cinderella Slippers"

Alison Krauss at the 2004 Oscars

Alison Krauss at the 2004 Oscars

And Number One on the list – a $3,000,000 pair of shoes designed around a pair of earrings originally owned by screen icon Rita Hayworth.

The earrings are adorned with rubies, sapphires and diamonds and now grace a pair of open-toes satin stilettos created for Oscar-nominee Kathleen “Bird” York to wear to the 2006 Awards show.

"Rita Hayworth" stilettos

Kathleen York at the 2006 Oscars

Kathleen York at the 2006 Oscars

I’m sure Ms. York would love to have kept those shoes, but unfortunately for her, they now belong to Hayworth’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.

However, who knows what we would all be wearing today if it weren’t for our favorite prehistoric trend-setter, the Armenian Fashionista!


Julia Rachlin is a PR exec with a love for all things fashion and beauty. She is a graduate of Smith College with degrees in Economics and French and holds a certificate from Paris Fashion Institute. She currently is discovering the beauty of the Pacific Northwest after relocating to the Seattle area with a hope to join a rowing club using the experience she gained from Varsity Crew at Smith. She can be found on Twitter at @JuliaRachlin.

Copyright © 2009-2010 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.


  1. All I can say is we've come along way since those dung-stuffed numbers! The Blahniks are stunning.

  2. All I can say is we've come along way since those dung-stuffed numbers! The Blahniks are stunning.