Fess up: The reason you don't own a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos is because you can't pronounce them. (Well, that, and you can't afford the $600-plus price tag.) Strolling through a shoe department is like trying to order off the menu at a French restaurant. You'd rather point at what you want than risk the embarrassment of mispronouncing it. We enlisted the help of Gabrielle Sanfelice, a fashion and retail management student at the Art Institute of Tampa. What makes her the expert? "I shop way too much," said Sanfelice, 24, with a laugh. Between studying fashion and having worked at Neiman Marcus, Sanfelice believes she has the pronunciations down. In some cases, we also called the designers' flagship stores. Even so, depending on which staffer you ask, you'll still get some debate. But tbt* is confident that if you hit the mall with this pocket guide, you'll emerge with cute shoes and your pride intact.
Manolo Blahnik: ma-NO-low BLAH-nick
Jimmy Choo: JIM-ee CHEW
Louis Vuitton: LOU-ee veh-TAHN
Badgley Mischka: BADGE-lee MISCH-kah
Christian Lacroix: CHRISH-tan leh-QUAH
Dolce & Gabbana: DOLE-chay and gah-BAH-nah
Christian Louboutin: CHRISH-tan LOO-beh-tin, CHRISH-tee-ahn LOO-boo-tehn or CHRISH-tee-ahn loo-boo-TAHN, depending on which store you call.
— Dalia Colón (pronounced dah-LEE-ah co-LOAN) and Susan Thurston (that's SUE-zan THIRS-ton)