Casadei’s Blade Heels have earned a place in fashion history. One could argue that they have become the most recognisable and ubiquitous stiletto silhouette of the A-list circuit from the past five years. The Blade style has scores of superfans across the globe—high-profile celebrities and keen shoppers alike. And true to its name, the Blade model really is blade-like: a sharp, high, warning-sign spike of a heel that to the uninitiated could seem entirely daunting. Victoria Beckham wears hers on repeat, and while we are all too aware of her skills as a hardened high-heel wearer, I have always wondered just what it is about these serious skyscrapers that allows for such constant, casual usage. There must be some sorcery at hand to make 11-centimeter pin-thin court shoes more comfortable than they look.
I had a chance to find out when brand Creative Director Cesare Casadei (his parents, Quinto and Flora Casadei, founded the luxury Italian shoe brand in 1958) was in London celebrating the opening of the first Casadei boutique. In fact, the night before, the shop had been officially ready when a Canadian Blade fanatic happened to drive by and asked her driver to stop immediately. As Cesare told me, she pleaded to come in to buy a new version—the lucky lady left contented at 9 p.m.
Between the gleaming mirrored walls and plush velvet banquettes, the butter-soft 1980s-inspired bow-fronted mules and thigh-high boots for winter’s sassiest style troopers, we spoke of the best-selling Blades and how they almost never came to fruition, such was their complexity.
“I talk engineering and construction because it’s [about] the right balance between everything … like a building: The architect, they need to work together with the engineer. The architect does the ‘look’ of the building, but immediately you need to think what is available and what is important to build this in reality,” says Cesare in his charming Italian accent. In fact, it took well over six months alongside an engineer to make these heels happen—and all the while his father, and many other colleagues, were encouraging Cesare to give up on his vision. In went a steel reinforcement, et voilá! A cult shoe style was born.
“My father say to me all the time, ‘If the women can’t walk in their shoes, the women don’t need it,’” recalls Cesare. “Victoria Beckham? I love her because she wore them with the children in her arms, and [she can] walk like a butterfly in 11-centimeter [heels]. … I haven’t met, her but I know she’s loved the Blade for a long time because she bought us in Harrods. We talk, and also we do send to her pumps sometimes. She put a picture on her Instagram when she was working on her collection—the picture with her wearing shoes in the studio [doing her signature leg-up pose]—this is the real feeling of the shoes: You stay on the sofa, take a break, you walk with your children, you come outside for an event.”
But good news for those who remain fearful of such dizzying heights: Cesare made it a priority early on to ensure that the Blade stilettos weren’t an only child: You’ll find siblings in varying measurements and finishes, all the way down to dainty kitten heels. Keep going to shop our favourite new styles from the collection—and head to the store to find the S/S 17 collection, available there months before anywhere else in the world.