Celebrities Reveal Their Favorite Shoe Styles At BritWeek’s 10th Anniversary Gala

Celebrities saluted British contributions to the arts and chatted with Footwear News about their favorite shoe styles at the BritWeek 10th anniversary reception and gala on Sunday at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.

The annual charity benefit was emceed by “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Nigel Lythgoe, featured a dance performance by “Dancing With the Stars” pro Mark Ballas, and a rock jam session by Steve Cooke and other musicians.

Below, FN chats with the attendees.

Harry Hamlin, actor

harry hamlin britweek
Harry Hamlin.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What shoes are in your closet?
HH: “I have a bunch of these old Prada shoes and I pull them out depending on how tall I want to be. Right now I’m about 6-feet-and-a-half-inches. I’m normally 5-foot, 11-inches, but these give me about an inch-and-a-half. I guess I wanted to be tall tonight or taller.”

Karina Smirnoff, dancer

britweek karina smirnoff dancing with the stars shoes bearpaw
Karina Smirnoff.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: Do you have plans to expand your shoe line?

KS: “I’ll be partnering up with someone — a really big company. This new line is about evening shoes, heels and boots. I love designing because I always design my costumes on [‘Dancing With the Stars’]. For me, it’s one of the coolest things to do.”

FN: Do you remember the first shoe you designed?
KS: “It was a dance shoe and I was probably 12 or 13. I had rhinestones and put that strategically on the shoe to a string — almost like an elastic ribbon — and put that on my shoe to create the look of flames around my ankles. It was really cool in my mind, but it was quite busy.”

Mark Ballas, dancer, and BC Jean, musician

britweek mark ballas bc jean fiance engaged girlfriend
Mark Ballas and BC Jean.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What are your favorite shoes?
“These All Saints boots I’ve had for four years and just had them resoled. The Reebok Classics are coming back — I just got my hands on those the other day. I’ve always worn Chucks since I was a kid — you can’t go wrong with that. I’m digging the new Yeezys, they’re pretty nice.”

FN: What are your favorite shoes?
BCJ: “These [boots] are so comfortable and they look like they shouldn’t be. I bought these after I wrote my first hit song and spoiled myself with some boots. I just keep wearing them and spay paint them black just to freshen them up. I like a nice heel, but I’ll be barefoot before you know it because I’m all about comfort.”

Luke Baines, “Girl in the Photograph” actor, and Miranda Mayo, “Chicago Fire” actress

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Luke Baines and Miranda Mayo.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: Tell us about your choice in footwear.
LB: “I’m wearing All Saints shoes and a Jack London suit. I was frightened by these shoes because they have a platform, but now I don’t want to take them off. I love mixing shoes up, from Timberlands to nice loafers, but these are my favorite.”

FN: What’s your earliest shoe memory?
LB: “I remember being three getting a pair of Nike trainers and running — thinking I was the fastest man on Earth — and then getting told by my sister that I run like Forrest Gump.”

Huw Collins, “Pretty Little Liars” actor

britweek huw collins pretty little liars
Huw Collins.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What are some differences between your shoe style and your “Pretty Little Liars” character’s shoe style?

HC: “He’s a little stiffer — mainly because he’s a doctor, but I really like his style on the show. Ivy Thaide was the costumer designer last year and she called me and asked me what brands I would wear on a casual basis. I said, Theory, John Varvatos, Vince, J. Crew. She must have been thinking: who’s this diva? But she went and got me all this stuff; it was perfect. The fashion on the show is great. Molly’s (Molly Shaheen, his girlfriend) line State & Manor is being featured on the show.”

Victoria Platt, actress, and Terell Tilford, actor

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Terell Tilford and Victoria Platt.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What’s your earliest shoe memory?
VP: “I was about four weeks late when I was born, so I was really overcooked, which meant my legs were folded under me for an extra four weeks. When I came out I was very bowlegged and they had to put braces on my legs. I had to wear these braces with orthopedic shoes until the second grade. As my feet grew they kept getting upgraded to a worse and worse looking shoe, but they changed my legs. And now, I walk. I was a dancer, so I can’t complain.”

TT: “We were upper-lower class — poor — when I was growing up. It was difficult coming across new shoes. Being a boy I was pretty rugged, so I kept tearing up shoes. As I got larger, my shoes stayed the same size and I ended developing bad corns on my feet. I promised myself when I got older — when I got my first job at 12 and official job at 14 — I said I would buy whatever shoes I want and will never have that problem again. Once you’ve been poor you never want to be poor again, but my biggest purchase was my first pair of John Varvatos shoes. I paid full price for them, which I virtually blacked out on. I had the full support of my wife.”

Ruth Connell, “Supernatural” actress

Ruth Connell britweek supernatural
Ruth Connell.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What are some of your favorite shoe brands?

RC: “I have broad foot, so I like to be comfortable. I’m not going to wear painful shoes. I have a really good cobbler in West Hollywood — he’s a proper shoemaker. I wear Carvela, but I’m waiting for someone to buy me a pair of Louboutins — or loan me a pair. I was a dancer, so I don’t have a narrow foot. I love Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoes but they won’t fit me — they are too narrow. I love Sarah Jessica Parker and the style, but not on my Scottish foot.”

Celia Imrie, actress

Celia Imrie.
CREDIT: Angela Weiss for BritWeek

FN: What are your favorite shoes?
“I’m afraid to say I hate shopping, and I probably have one pair of shoes which are quite unnoticeable. I would love to wear a pair of Jimmy Choos, why not? I’d love to have Christian Louboutins, what a hoot. I do have an ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ canvas bag, which, if I sold it down Santa Monica Boulevard I would be a millionaire by now with the amount of attention it’s caused.”

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