Watch Your Back, Manolo

When shoe designer Holly Dunlap visits her factory in Italy, she hunkers down and stitches on buttons and bows herself. "I like making things," says Dunlap, 31. "That's when I'm most content." This personal touch has helped Dunlap slip her Hollywould brand flirty and fun, often made of satins and silks--on the feet of movie stars and socialites, and earned her a nomination for the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America award.

In just three years, Hollywould merch now turns up at 100 retailers worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Dunlap's own Manhattan shop. Her shoes--deliberately a tad less pricey--have Dunlap nipping at the heels of the very royal and very male shoe-designer triumvirate of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. "Manolos are for the 'ladies who lunch,' but my shoes are for the girls who sleep through lunch because they've been partying all night."