Vanessa Williams Reveals The Secret To Staying Comfortable On The Red Carpet

Vanessa Williams has been a multi-hyphenate since she first turned her Miss America crown into a successful Hollywood career. Here, the actress, singer and designer of the V. by Vanessa Williams apparel line (which sells on Evine) talks about her personal shoe style and how she stays comfortable in her many walks of life.


“I can’t tolerate anything that’s narrow, so Sergio Rossi’s toe box is always wide enough. I also adore my Lanvin ballerina wedges for comfort and have them in black, tan and navy faux snake, and also Carlos Miele’s soft leather styles from Brazil.”

“I have a few Louboutins — one with clear crystals. They cost a fortune, at least $1,200 to $1,500. I had to have them because they’re a work of art and are sitting on my closet shelf where I can look at them. They are jewels in my closet. I also have a Louboutin open-toe slingback in ombré that goes from purple to magenta.”

Vanessa Williams
May 2016: Vanessa Williams in Giuseppe Zanotti metallic sandals.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock.
Vanessa Williams
March 2016: Vanessa Williams in Sergio Rossi black satin sandals.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock.

“I’m usually in jeans, a T-shirt, a sweater and sensible shoes. I’m not a sneaker girl — I wear them only to work out. I also don’t like socks. I kick off my shoes as soon as I walk in the door, so I like things I can jump into easily, such as a slide. I also love wedges and wear them with sundresses, wide-leg pants and jumpsuits. And I have flip-flops by Havaianas and Cobian.”

“For pure whimsy, I love Miu Miu. I have open-toe slingbacks on a chunky heel that look very ’40s-esque, and I get a lot of compliments about them. I also have Miu Miu biker boots with a square toe and metal cap. When I put them on, I feel like I’m conjuring up my rocker chic side, plus they’re very comfy. I also have a Sergio Rossi caged gold bootie with an open toe and spiky heel. They’re comfortable, and I wear them onstage a lot.”

Sergio Rossi
Sergio Rossi’s Mermaid caged bootie.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

“I love to buy when I travel. I’ve had a pair of white moccasins for 20 years that I bought in a store in southern Spain. I just went to Italy and had a pair of custom sandals made at a little store in Positano. I picked out the upper material — bottle-green python with gold accents. Our tour guide, who took us to Pompeii, was bouncing around on the cobblestones in cork wedges by BioNatura. So I got a pair with a crisscross upper in woven leather. [They’re so comfortable], I could play basketball in them.”

“At my age, it’s all about comfort. At this point, I can barely tolerate many fashion shoes. I have a sturdy slingback clog from Eileen Fisher with a chunky heel that gives some kind of support. It’s a good utility shoe I wear to travel. Stuart Weitzman also has a sandal I’ve worn for years. It’s a luxury brand, but I find the shoes to be really comfortable.”

“The most fun was interpreting Wilhelmina on ‘Ugly Betty.’ Playing a fashion magazine editor trying to climb up the ladder, I had a range of fantastic clothing available. A lot were looks from the 1990s coordinated by the show’s stylist, Patricia Field.”

Ugly Betty
Michael Urie and Vanessa Williams in “Ugly Betty,” 2006.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock.

Want More?

Celebrity Designer Statement Shoes: June 2016

Stuart Weitzman Attends CFDA Awards With Ciara

Zendaya’s New Spring ’17 Shoe Line: An Exclusive First Look

Gucci’s Biggest Celebrity Fans

TOMS Sponsored By TOMS

Building Business to Improve Lives

TOMS discusses its approach to mental health awareness and female empowerment through impact initiatives in the footwear segment.
Learn More

Access exclusive content