Rising shoe design talent, Raphael Young, learned the tricks of the trade from his uncle, Alexandre Narcy, who he worked under at Yves Saint Laurent before striking out on his own. His signature aesthetic—technical, futuristic, and often gravity-defying—could be likened more to fellow designer Nicholas Kirkwood than, say, Christian Louboutin, who Young recently set up shop next door to in Paris' First Arondissement.
For Fall 2010, Young was inspired by heliocentric theory (as in, the astronomical model where the earth orbits the sun), which translated into extremely sculptural, Star Wars-esque pumps and booties that look rather like alien relics from some lunar civillization. His signature "prism" heel, used on a number of the Fall/Winter styles, looks like a precious jewel that just happens to morph into to a shoe-shape.
But if you aren't ready for a pair of full-on moon boots, investigate Young's simple (by comparison) "Tank" booties, which feature a slim inverted heel and a lace-up front, or the classic "Opera" pumps, which include finger-like panels of rubber along the sole.
Young's e-commerce shop is still under construction, but you can check out his collection at Seven New York (110 Mercer), or if you happen to be Paris-bound, stop by his newly opened boutique on 23 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.