As a young boy growing up in southern France in the late sixties, Jean-Michel Cazabat discovered his love for women’s shoes at an early age. An obsession was born upon seeing the women in his countryside village of Gascony wearing the cord and wood platform sandals that were the shoe of the stylish and sexy woman of the era. This passion would lead to his life-long pursuit to appeal to a woman’s beauty and sense of style.
For over 25 years, Jean-Michel has been designing shoes beginning his career as a buyer and store manager for legendary shoe designer Charles Jourdan. After working with Charles Jourdan from 1980 to 1985, Jean-Michel relocated to New York where he served as president of the prestigious shoe brand Stephane Kélian, overseeing operations and developing product for the American market.
In 1999, he decided to venture out on his own and launched a luxury women’s shoe line. The Jean-Michel Cazabat brand was an immediate success in the fashion world, and synonymous with his vision of the modern, sexy woman: a woman with an independent attitude, a joie de vivre, and a strong, fiery spirit. His signature shoes stand apart in their colorful and metallic hues, glitter finishes, animal prints and exotic skins fusing an ultra-feminine aesthetic with edgy rock ‘n’ roll sensibility. Soon after, he began enjoying a celebrity following including Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sara Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johanssen, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Mary-Kate Olsen and Oprah Winfrey, to name but a few.
Naturally the next step, coupled with a desire to be able to wear what his personal style dictated, was to design men’s shoes. Jean-Michel launched his handmade men’s line in 2003 and his distinctive shoes are worn by entertainers and stye icons alike, such as Lenny Kravitz, Steven Tyler, Ron Wood, Timbaland, 50 Cent, Seal, Mickey Rourke, Johnny Hallyday and Elton John.
Jean-Michel Cazabat shoes are available internationally, including Barney’s New York; Bloomingdales; Neiman Marcus; Harvey Nichols, London and at specialty boutiques worldwide. In September 2011, the Jean-Michel Cazabat flagship store will be opening in New York, at 350 Bleecker Street.