Ivanka Trump (left) Blake Lively (center) and Jessica Alba (right). Photos: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage (3)


"I'm presenting Person of the Year to Christian Louboutin, and he is just the man of my dreams," actress Blake Lively told us Tuesday night on the red carpet of the Footwear News Achievement Awards. The "Gossip Girl" star was looking gorgeous in an absinthe-green Prabal Gurung cocktail dress and, of course, ankle boots by the shoe designer she was there to honor.

"They're magical!" she said of his shoes. "It's like the same feeling you got when you watched 'Cinderella' as a child. Every time you slip on a pair of his shoes, they make you feel empowered and beautiful."

Christian Louboutin. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage


Louboutin himself was wearing a pair of men's bowling shoes, bristling with spiked studs, that he designed for Michael Jackson to wear in the stage show the singer died before performing.

"I keep on doing heels taller," he said of his design philosophy. "For 18 years, my inspiration has been the same: women."

We had to ask him about this infamous Martha Stewart blog post, in which she wrote about having her assistant "paint the soles of my Louboutins black -- I am not a fan of the signature red soles and always change the red to black -- this is easy if you use a broad Sharpie." We asked the master if he would consider making special pairs for the domestic diva, with black soles.

"If she can do it from her assistant, why ask me?" Louboutin said with a grin. "She cooks, she paints, she does a lot of things, she has a lot of talent -- she can do it herself!"

Brian Atwood. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage

Designer of the Year honoree Brian Atwood came not with his mother. We asked how he balanced wearability with style in his footwear. "I try to make them as comfortable as I can, but nowadays, heels are getting higher and higher," he said. "Guess what ladies, I'm not a wizard!" And has he ever slipped on a pair of heels himself when trying them out? "Of course! I don't make them big enough, but yes, I have in the past."

Also on the red carpet at New York's Museum of Modern Art was Olivia Palermo, who accompanied emerging-talent award-winner Charlotte Dellal, designer of the label Charlotte Olympia. Jessica Alba came with friend Blake Mycoskie, "founder and chief shoe-giver" of Tom's Shoes, which donates footwear in developing countries. Alba, in black Dolce & Gabbana fitted jacket and harem pants, said she normally wears Tom's shoes but had donned Louboutins for the evening.

"They're a classic punk, but the spikes make them a little bit hard core," she said of their crystalline look. Asked what shoe advice she would give to her own daughter, Alba responded: "Shoe pads! And if they're so uncomfortable and you can't walk in them, you probably shouldn't wear them."

Freshman shoe designer Ivanka Trump was honored at the awards for Launch of the Year. Wearing heels from her own collection and a gorgeous black Gucci evening dress with gold metal wristbands connected to the sleeves, she told us the most important thing in her range was "an elegant silhouette. Whether it's a flat or a kitten or a full-blown pump, I like that elegant, beautiful line."

She said her self-named line, which will be in stores including Nordstrom and Macy's next week, was "glamorous, wearable and very versatile. We have over 140 styles."

But she showed that Trump flair, which she no doubt got from daddy the Donald, when asked to name her favorite shoes from any other designer. "Now they're all Ivanka Trump," she replied. "My days of supporting competitive brands are numbered."