Currently Craving: Shoes from the Barney’s Warehouse Sale

So I was going to do a post covering the entirety of the Barney’s Warehouse Sale, online for the first time ever, but then I got to the shoe section and it all went to hell. There are too many pairs and so little blog space to show them with, especially if combined with clothing, the horror! Instead, what you see below is a nice little collection from the sensational shoe section available to us all now! Not just those in New York and Los Angeles! (Though I was enjoying being part of that club). The Barney’s Warehouse Sale is my favorite time of the year (when it happens, at least, since Couture time is a have when that happens, and fashion week time, and so on). But I digress. Now, see for yourselves, and relish in the show glory.

First we have Chloé, with the Chunky Criss-Cross Wedge (1) -which, I might add, I have shown before-and the Snakeskin Platform Sandal (2), if you prefer something more delicate. Continuing on with yellow, we have Phillip Lim’s Espie (3) and then Rag & Bone’s Hanalei Ballet Flats (4) which aren’t yellow, but fell next to the yellow shoes because they are flats, just like the pair before them. In continuation with the now blue theme we have going, we have Manolo Blahnik’s Pamukfac (10) and the Alexander Wang Aida (5), whose textured pieces might start molting like a bird does, in which case the shoes would be ever sicker.

Moving on from shedding shoes we have Haider Ackermann, who just kills it in everything he does, and in particular with these Laser Cut (6) and Brocade (7) Oxfords, which are particularly amazing in that your ankles will be saved from blisters due to the lack of a back in the shoe, which also make you look like you don’t care that your expensive oxfords are folded down to save you blisters, which, in turn, makes you the coolest ever.

If you prefer a Chunky Shoe, meet Sergio Rossi’s Sandal (8), Rag & Bone’s Cutout Platform Sandal (9), and both Proenza Schoulers Slingback (11) and Slingback Cutout (12) Platform Wedges. They are your new best friends. And last but not least, though not chunky, is Pierre Hardy’s Cube Mask Sandal (13).

FN Summit: Let’s Talk Shoes

Photo by John Aquino, WWD
Tabitha Simmons, Alessandra Lavin, and Laurence Dacade are three of the most prominent women in footwear today (if only Charlotte Olympia has been there…) and all three of them love luxury.
Photo by John Aquino, WWD
Tabitha Simmons, a former model and a fashion stylist for magazines such as American and Italian Vogue, is making a serious impression on the fashion industry, especially since she just won the CFDA Swarovski award for Emerging Talent in Accessory Design. Since launching in 2009, the brand has grown into quite an impressive luxury business that makes genuinely beautiful yet cool shoes, which are sold at over 6o locations. She is careful to grow her business slowly and “organically…one step at a time.” Her biggest challenges, though, in the business are “production, and getting it into stores on time.” She ultimately would love to have a store, because “then you really connect to your customer.” She loves collaborating with designers, like Creatures of the Wind, for runway shows, as it’s “fun, and a great way to grow with them. You support each other, it’s nice.” Nice indeed, almost nicer than that CFDA award.
Photos Courtesy of Aperlai
Alessandra Lanvin believes that female shoe designers have an advantage over their male counterparts, since men tend to fantasize more about heels, and not take into account a woman’s comfort, while women do. Alessandra founded Aperlai (named for the ancient Lycian city), a luxury accessory line, almost three years ago, though she holds degrees in Political Science and Art History. It is fitting, then, that most of her inspiration comes from Artists; favorites include Picasso, Pollack, and Mondrian. The modern styles of these artists are clearly represented in Ms. Lanvin’s shoe designs- her shoes often include such elements as graphic lines, asymmetries, and contrasts. She often uses exotic skins such as python and pony, and all her shoes are made in Italy. Her main focus will always be on footwear, though she is open to expanding, but just a little bit. “Aperlai is a small brand, and we want to remain as such,” she stated, and added that with all the big luxury shoe companies out there, it is hardly wise to try and compete. 

Photos Courtesy of Laurence Dacade
Laurence Dacade is certainly the envy of most everyone, for she has collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. That’s pretty much the ultimate. She likes Karl a lot, and likes that he “knows exactly what he wants, he’s quick, he’s talented, and professional…” she shares in a thick French accent that she actually apologized for, which made her Parisian charm that much charmier, “everyday it’s a great moment (with him).” So though she loves him, and who wouldn’t love working for Chanel? She doesn’t just want to be known for her (amazing) collaborations. She wants to be known for her own line as well, she wants the client to be happy, and she wants to “fight for the idea that you don’t have to fight to wear heels,” that is, they should be comfortable. I’m liking her more and more. She loves designing, loves to work on the heel, the proportion, the fabric, and loves shoes in general. She went into footwear because, plain and simple, she loves shoes, and she gives them everything she’s got.
These three women were so inspiring, they are successful, beautiful, talented, and all around pretty amazing.

FN Summit: Kevin Plank, Under Armour

One of the first speakers at the Footwear News Summit today was Kevin Planl, Founder and CEO of Under Armour, who talked about the brands expansion into footwear seven years ago. Under Armour launched their footwear in 2006, 10 years after the brand first started with a simple solution to an Athletes Problem, not being comfortable when working out. They expanded from moisture-wicking T-Shirts to all apparel, then launched their footwear, with the mission to make everyone feel ike they could do more, they could be better, they could be whatever they wanted to be. But why launch footwear? Isn’t there enough already? Kevin acknowledged that they had to find a niche, they had to again solve a problem sand make something new. The consumer didn’t need anymore footwear choices, but Under Armour gave them something new. And something that has earned them around $200 million in just seven years.

Most of the designers for Under Armour’s Footwear were athletes, so they know how to design for athletes, and what their needs are. One product they launched was the Highlight Cleat, a cleat that eliminated the need for tape or spats, therefore saving time and money. This cleat is also 26% lighter from the usual 10-15 oz. of weight a football player might carry on his feet. Though these cleats are only for a small percentage of the population, Kevin stressed how it was important to build up their credibility and reputation before they expand any more. “Nothing happens overnight, but it’s coming, and it will be bigger and better next year”

Photo and video courtesy of Under Armour