No matter how many Gucci go-go boots and Manolo Blahnik stilettos fashionable celebs may own, they're still often faced with that burning question: What do I wear while I'm kicking back on the Concorde? Often, the answer is J.P. Tod's, a sensible, pebble-soled moccasin that has been gracing the feet of stars such as Sharon Stone, Cindy Crawford, Princess Diana and Denzel Washington. Sold in 150 styles ranging from basic black leather to bright orange croc, the shoes are comfy enough for long strolls down Rodeo Drive but pricey enough ($230-$l,400) to ooze status. "They are a classic," says Hollywood costumer Catherine Adair, who put Eddie Murphy in a pair for Beverly Hills Cop III. "You can survive being on your feet all day and still come off as stylish."
Created by the Italian shoe company Diego Delia Valle in 1979 to help Fiat auto magnate Gianni Agnelli better grip his pedals, J.P. Tod's "make customers feel special," says company CEO Claudio Castiglioni. Indeed, with last year's sales up some 40 percent, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and the company's four American boutiques can't keep them in stock. Which is no surprise to Adair. "They are a great alternative to sneakers," she says, "but so much higher on the food chain."
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