Fashion Hot Thing: Prada Red Line shoes

WHEN PRADA launched its urban sporty range earlier this year, it was done without fanfare or fuss. A metal- encased look-book filled with pictures of the clothes and shoes simply appeared at the office and, apart from a few "oohs", "aahs" and an "isn't their red stripe label just like those Dymo things we used as kids?", it was filed away as "Prada goes London street- style" without further ado. How regrettably short- sighted.

If I had flicked to the end of the look-book I would have seen and perhaps been able to secure for myself a pair of the most coveted shoes of the moment. They are black leather with moulded rubber soles; the red stripe cuts through the back heel and they come as trainer/shoes with a Velcro strap, trainer/shoes with an elasticated toggle, ankle bootees with an invisible side zip, and below-the-knee or above-the-knee boots. Far too chic and futuristic to be British, they are possibly the perfect day footwear: as comfortable as a trainer, as stylish as a smart shoe, and by Prada as well. Bonus.

Acquisition is ultimately down to foresight. At the first inkling of desire, buy, buy, buy. The fashion designer, Tracey Mulligan, bought her bootees in Milan in early September. A friend of a friend bought a pair in Singapore in late August. I nearly bought some in New York, but I got to the store just after it closed, and they wouldn't let me in. The dozens of fashion people in Paris last week who were wearing them obviously bought theirs on discount in Milan (where it is now impossible to buy a pair in a normal size). In the Paris store Colette the man in the shop actually laughed, and tried to cover it up by pretending to cough, when I questioned the availability of the below-knee boot in my size. (What's so strange about being a size seven?) In London they are sold out of all styles bar the above-the-knee boot; they are expecting more trainers in, but no more bootees or below-knees are going to be made at all. Ever.

Next, the men's toggle trainer beckoned. They were too big, but at last I had my hands on a pair, which turned out to be surprisingly heavy. The inside moulding makes them extremely comfortable; the only problem was that my feet looked like a clown's. As a last resort, I took advice from Eddie Prendergast at Duffer of St George (among other things a rare trainer specialist), who told me that if I bought a pair for pounds 120-pounds 150 now I could sell them on in two years' time for the same amount (such is their collectability). Eddie suggested that I call the Prada stores in Tokyo and Hong Kong, where the recession means business is slow. They didn't have my size.

These are the world-wide lengths some people go to just to get the right shoes, and until now I didn't believe it was possible to want something that much. It also proves how international fashion has become: one of the things we now have in common with the Japanese is our taste in shoes.

Prada, 44-45 Sloane Street, London SW1. All enquiries, 0171-235 0008

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before