Are these the most iconic shoes ever?

Posted on April 29 2021

One of the most iconic and well-loved shoe designs of our time, Saint Laurent’s Tribute has proved itself a perennial favourite.


It was designed back in 2004, when Saint Laurent was known as Yves Saint Laurent and Stefano Pilati was the brand’s creative director, and it has been reimagined and re-released by the house countless times since then. 


In 2000, under Pilati’s watchful eye, shoe designer Francesco Russo joined Yves Saint Laurent and was responsible for several famous and influential shoe designs including the Chinese Lacquered Wedge shoe, the Tibtoo, the Cage Boots and, of course, the Tribute. Russo left YSL in 2008 for shoe label Sergio Rossi and in 2013 launched his own label Francesco Russo, but his legacy at Saint Laurent lives on in the Tribute.


The popularity of the Tribute lies first and foremost in its ability to give women extra height without sacrificing comfort. The thick platform under the toes meant that the heel could be much higher without angling the foot at too great a pitch. It gave women a sense of power with the ability to walk confidently in shoes that added up to 14 centimetres to their stature – perfect for more diminutive women like Jennifer Lopez.


Beyonce in YSL Tributes
Credit: Jennifer Lopez. Image courtesy of Rex/ Shutterstock


The Tribute is also incredibly versatile – in black or metallic leather, the style is perfect for more formal or fancy dress codes, but in tan or bright colours it can be dressed down for casual occasions.


Shop YSL Tribute heels
Credit: Kourtney Kardashian. Image courtesy of Celebrity Style Guide.


When it launched, the Tribute completely changed the footwear industry. The design took inspiration from both chunky ’70s platforms and fetish shoes, such as the heels worn by pole dancers. Somehow, the blend of those two unlikely influences created a shoe that was sexy, leg-lengthening, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to wear.


The original design – with the high heel and the woven top strap – remains the most famous one, but it was followed by a flat sandal that featured the same woven top strap and a pump that featured the same platform. There are also a few different heights of the classic style available.


Shop YSL Tribute Heels on discount
Credit: Christina Milian in YSL Tribute (and Christina Aguilera in Christian Louboutin). Image courtesy of Global Grind.


Very much of its time, initially the Tribute was adored by It-girls of the early-to-mid 2000s – Paris Hilton, Christina Milian, Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad and Gwen Stefani are just a few of the stars that were seen sporting the shoe around town or on red carpets.


Taylor Swift in ysl tributes
Credit: Taylor Swift. Image courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Wire Image.


However, the shoe has managed to retain its cult status for almost two decades, and various iterations are still seen on the feet of some of the biggest names of our time: Taylor Swift, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima, Olivia Palermo, Kate Moss, Julia Roberts, Cara Delevingne, Kourtney Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow are all fans of the style. 


YSL Tributes on celebrities
Credit: Olivia Palermo. Image courtesy of Jeff Vespa/ WireImage.


At Estro, we have a selection of Saint Laurent Tribute Heel Sandals, including this classic style in black ($1,098 – but for a limited time take an EXTRA 25% off and get them for $823.50). Made of smooth leather, it features the steeper angle of the shoe, with a 14-centimetre heel and a 3-centimetre platform. 


Ysl Tribute on discount



We also have the lower pitch, with a 14-centimetre heel and a 4-centimetre platform, for extra comfort without losing height. Get them in nude patent leather for every day or metallic silver leather for hitting the dance floor (both $1,098 – but for a limited time take an EXTRA 25% off and get them for $823.50).


ysl tributes



If these still haven’t persuaded you to slip into a pair of stiletto heels, we also have a range of the flat sandals – including this luxe gold leather pair ($764 – but for a limited time take an EXTRA 15% off and get them for $649.40).



YSL tribute flats


Ready to add a pair of Tributes to your shoe-drobe? Explore the range online at Estro – the ultimate destination for discount designer shopping – or visit one of our two Sydney stores. 

- By Hannah Warren 


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