Inside Adrienne Maloof’s Closet

She may be the quiet and reserved one on Bravo’s breakout hit “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but expect to hear a whole lot more from Adrienne Maloof soon.

The businesswoman — who, alongside her brothers, has built Maloof Cos. into an empire that includes the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, the Sacramento Kings NBA team and several other ventures — is ready to tackle shoes.

“We started by raiding my own closet and picking out shapes, colors and constructions that really appealed to me,” Maloof said, noting she has been working with an industry insider to develop a capsule collection of Adrienne Maloof footwear for fall ’11. And a full offering will bow in the spring. “I’m very conscious about creating a line that will keep in mind everyone — from a working mom to a big-city fashionista — [and] am working with the designers now on sketches. Then we’ll move on to prototypes.”

The mother of three, who is currently filming the show’s second season, has a pretty good library to reference. The closet inside her sprawling Beverly Hills, Calif., home holds about 500 pairs of mostly luxe stilettos, boots and pumps from such brands as Gianmarco Lorenzi and Louis Vuitton.

“Shoes are an art form, [and] there is something very special in the way they are crafted, in the structure of a heel or in the shape of the arch,” she said. “When you look back and really understand the genesis of something like the stiletto or the wedge, the shape of these shoes ties directly into the materials and engineering available at the time when the style was born.”

Here, Maloof gives Footwear News a peek at her impressive collection.

Brands owned:
Alaïa, Brian Atwood, Chanel, Charles Jourdan, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, New Balance, Prada, Skechers, Yves Saint Laurent

Organizational strategy: Maloof keeps her everyday shoes in one section of her closet and evening looks in another. “From there, I try to coordinate by color.”

Personal shoe style:
Classic with an edge. “I like [my shoes] to be a little more trendy and fashion-forward.”

All-time favorite:
Tall Prada boots on a 1-inch heel. “They’re easy to run around in and are classic, chic and stylish. I wear them so often. I know I’ve gotten my money’s worth.”

Most stylish shoe:
Yves Saint Laurent nude platform pumps. “They elongate the leg and go with everything. They have the height and are very sexy.”

Last pair purchased:
Jimmy Choo strappy sandals embellished with Swarovski crystals

Style I’d never be caught wearing:
Anything with a rounded toe. “And I don’t do ballet flats. I know they are comfortable [and] stylish, but they’re not for me.”

If you could raid the closet of any other “housewife”:
Bravo producer and host of “Watch What Happens” Andy Cohen. “We call him our honorary housewife, and he’s an incredibly sharp dresser. He has a great eye for what works.”

Biggest splurge:
About $4,000 on a pair of cocktail shoes with a gold heel and completely detailed in crystal

Pair I’ll never throw out:
The strappy, light-blue, crystal-embellished sandals by Vera Wang worn during her wedding to Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Paul Nassif

Favorite shopping city: Las Vegas. “There’s just about every shop you can imagine, and it’s so close. A 45-minute airplane ride is easy and quick.”

Best qualities in a sales associate:
Personality. “They have to put a smile on their face, and they have to know what’s going to be in fashion for the next season.”

Top shops in Beverly Hills:
Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and boutiques such as Chanel, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent

No. 1 shoe mistake: Short, chunky heels with a square toe. “I had a pair that I gave away. [The look] does not work for me and doesn’t do anything for the legs.”

All-time favorite shoe brand:
Yves Saint Laurent. “Their classic basic pumps are just gorgeous.”

Favorite style on your husband and sons:
“As a doctor, Paul is very conservative all day, so I love to see him in a more relaxed state. I’m a fan of men in casual, masculine clothing, and he looks great in a rugged boot. My boys are huge fans of the whole skateboarding culture, so they love hip sneakers.”

Best workout shoe: A lifelong tennis player, Maloof turns to New Balance when she hits the courts. “I’ve been playing since I was four.”

Trend you wish would go away: Mid-calf boots. “It’s the worst height and hard for [any] woman to wear.”

Style icons: “Madonna is constantly switching up her fashion and reinventing herself. She’s a strong woman. Coco Chanel also dared women to celebrate fashion and was so ahead of her time.”

Highest heels I could bear:
“The sky is the limit on that one. The higher, the better.”

Dream closet:
Plans to expand her wardrobe are under way. “It will be huge and well lit, with lots of space to try things on. I’d love to truly display my shoes as the art form they are. I’ve been trying to bribe Paul to move his closet down the hall and let me have his, too, but so far, no luck. I’m open to bribery.”

Strategy for getting rid of shoes: Maloof turns to charity when she needs to clear space in her closet. “I donate to charities that help women getting into business and who need [professional shoes] to wear to interviews.”

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