Vital Stats: Holly Dunlap, 33, of Hollywould
Company: New York City-based accessory and apparel company
2005 Projected sales: Over $1 million
Shoe-in: In 1989, then-16-year-old Dunlap was an intern for fashion designer Carolyne Roehm, who paid her with Manolo Blahnik shoes. Dunlap soon morphed from a flip-flop-sporting girl into a self-professed "shoe snob." She went to design school, majoring in apparel design, then worked in the fashion industry in Europe and the U.S. for nearly a decade. In 2000, she started Hollywould, though she had no footwear design experience. "My only experience with shoes was wearing them!" she says. Still, she landed her first account with Bergdorf Goodman.
Party Favors: Hollywould follows in the footsteps of high-fashion brands such as Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, but is priced a bit lower and has a more fun, youthful vibe. Dunlap describes "Hollywould girls" as "social, fun, independent, feminine and very fashionable, but [they] don't take fashion too seriously." Hollywould added handbags and party dresses to its repertoire in 2001 and 2004, respectively.
La Dolce Vita: Dunlap spends eight months of the year in Italy, focusing on production. She finds inspiration for her line while traveling through Europe and the U.S., citing fabrics, locales, antiques, and people on the street as influences. But all Hollywould shoes have something in common: silicon pads to prevent the pain usually associated with teetering footwear. Found in 60 stores internationally, including Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue, Hollywould has two boutiques in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, with plans to open a third in either Los Angeles or St. Tropez, France, in 2006.