Leave it to a woman to find the missing link in the shoe market. Alessandra Lanvin, a 30-year-old former fashion headhunter and self-proclaimed lover of “high, high heels,” spent years trotting around town in impossible footwear due to a dearth of styles that were both beautiful and comfortable. “It then occurred to me,” she says from her studio in Paris, “that there are a lot of men designing shoes.” Subsequently, Lanvin, whose husband is a grandnephew of legendary designer Jeanne Lanvin, launched Aperlai, a line of footwear that combines artistry with ample cushioning. Or, more specifically, for spring: vibrant, graphic shapes inspired by the works of Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger, and Kazimir Malevich, all featuring orthopedist-approved padding under the ball of the foot (aperlaiparis.com; shoes from $560 to $1,500).

Shoe: courtesy of Aperlai