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As Emerald City aficionados prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the screen debut of The Wizard of Oz, 20 of the world’s most inspired shoe designers will present their own modern interpretation of the iconic ruby slippers.

Names like Louboutin and Blahnik and Choo (oh my!) will present updated versions of the pair that resides both in the Smithsonian and firmly in the national consciousness. Betsey Johnson, who already borrows much from the Wizard of Oz aesthetic (and has presented a collection that included a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, a Cowardly Lion, a Dorothy and a little dog, too.) will present her bedazzled view of Dorothy’s red shoes for the event as well. Crystallized Swarovski Elements, the same name that provided the sparkle of the original shoes, will be used by each designer.

The collection will be officially unveiled at Saks Fifth Ave. in the charmed store windows along the famous avenue-Saks’ namesake-as an in-store gala kicks off Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week on September 4th.

Throughout the week, the collection will be showcased at an installation in Bryant Park for all to admire. After the tents are taken down at the end of the week, the shoes will travel to the Armory Building on September 20th for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s Kids for Kids Family Carnival. In the fall of 2009, each pair will be sold at auction, not unlike the original slippers, and proceeds will benefit the same Foundation.

Before then the slippers will follow a yellow brick road of their own as they embark on a world tour that includes a stop at Art Basel Miami Beach, December 4th through 8th.

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