Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale: A Shoe Frenzy

Even during a recession, no one can resist at deal—that is if you're referring to Manolo Blahnik. Yes, the legendary shoe designer, who attained cult status with a starring role as Carrie Bradshaw's shoe of choice on "Sex and the City" has a twice-annual sample sale. This means, prices are way below what you'd find at retail—leather heels start at $100, for instance.

And considering their retail price of at least $575—$100 is a total deal. So of course, the lines were insane! Women started lining up at 6 a.m. Wednesday for the "private" sale but mobs of shoe-obsessed Manolo fans continued to linger in all morning, even after doors opened to the public at 11 a.m.

The scene? What one would expect—total mayhem, with everyone pouring over tables upon tables of high-heel sandals, pumps, boots and even some flats (yes, Manolo makes flats). Shoes were divided up on tables marked by size number—but soon the matching pairs were suddenly single with their mates scattered all over the place, on the floor, in the corner, on another table.

“Shoes,” is what lured fashion publicist Nicole Newsum to the sale, as she mulled over a pair of metallic leather heels. “I’ve never been to this before. But still, I want to make sure I love whatever I buy. I’ll probably spend between $200 and $300.” Nora Nikci, a shop manager for Catherine Malandrino at Saks Fifth Avenue, was trying to decide whether to spring for a pair of leopard-print embellished heels for $125, after spotting two pairs for her mom. “My friend told me about this and I’m a shoe fanatic.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Imelda Marcos’ Shoe Collection Merits Own Song, Off-Broadway Musical

Not much rhymes with Ferragamo, but that hasn’t stopped the creators of “Imelda: A New Musical,” an Off Broadway show about the controversial former first lady of the Philippines.
The musical tells the story of Imelda Marcos partly through her footwear; her nearly 3,000 pairs of shoes made her a symbol of the excesses of the regime led by the late Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The show has just opened at the Julia Miles Theatre in New York.

Marcos starts out relatively humbly in the production, in nude peep-toe heels, but soon her fortunes improve and her closet goes Hollywood. While future Philippine President Corazon Aquino plods around in brown or black pumps, Ms. Marcos dons eight different pairs of shoes over the course of two acts. About 20 more pairs are used as props.

“She has blue beaded gaudy shoes, but there’s also a really glitzy sparkly silver number, and a gold strappy [pair],” says Ivy Chou, costume designer for the musical, which is produced by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Shoes made up 40% of the $1,500-$2,000 costume budget for Marcos, she says. (Many of the shoes onstage were donated, came from vintage stores or weren’t well-known brands.)

Tisa Chang, artistic producing director of the Pan Asian Repertory, the show’s producer, donated some pairs from her own closet. “The lyrics mention sequined, snakeskin, Ferragamo — I had a few designers they mentioned,” she says. “If you buy a pair that matches a certain outfit you don’t want to throw it out. It becomes kind of an artifact.”

One of the show’s big numbers is called “3,000 Pairs of Shoes.” At the start of the musical, three women who play muses intone: “A shoe collection so unreal, a million drag queens gave a squeal.” Imelda acts mystified by the fuss over her wardrobe: “Why the thrills for my espadrilles?” she sings.

The theater company invited Marcos to see the show, and while they don’t expect to see the 80-year-old “Iron Butterfly” in the house, they’re hoping some of her relatives will show up.
The production attempts to portray a rounded picture of Marcos that goes beyond the corruption that marked the regime. “We really wanted to give a fuller view,” says Chang. “Sometimes time allows us to take another look at people.”

Read about the Towering World of Tamara Mellon and Jimmy Choo

Mellon began her career at Phyllis Walters Public Relations, Mirabella, and followed as accessories editor for British Vogue in 1990. Recognizing the potential for development of high-end designer accessories, Mellon approached bespoke shoe-maker Mr Jimmy Choo with the idea of launching a ready-to-wear shoe company. As founder of the Jimmy Choo Company, Tamara secured funding for the creation of her business, and sourced factories in Italy. In addition, she set up an office in Italy to handle production, quality control and shipping.

By 2001, Jimmy Choo had over 100 wholesale clients including Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Saks Fifth Avenue. The design collaboration between Tamara and creative director, Sandra Choi led to an immediate demand from other top stores. The Motcombe Street store was followed by stores in New York, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. In April 2001, the expansion of Jimmy Choo took a step forward with the announcement of a new partnership with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. This transaction enabled Jimmy Choo to achieve outstanding results, with the introduction of handbag and small leather goods collections.

In November 2004, with the company valued at £101 million, Hicks Muse announced the majority acquisition of Jimmy Choo — yet another significant move for the future development of the company.

Jimmy Choo shoes have been sung about by starlets such as Beyonce Knowles and the shoes are well-known as the shoes of choice for Hollywood red carpet events. Mellon has the worlds largest collection of Jimmy Choo’s to the value of $500,000.

From the first boutique opened in London’s Knightsbridge in 1996, Jimmy Choo now has a total of 39 stores including London, New York, Beverly Hills, Milan and Hong Kong and is distributed by select stores worldwide. The brand continues to have strong ambitions and plans to open a total of 50 stores worldwide by 2008. In 2007, Mellon made another appearance on the Sunday Times Rich List where she is ranked as the 751st richest person in the U.K with an estimated wealth of £99 million. She is also ranked as the 64th richest woman in Britain. Read the full story in the Towering World of Jimmy Choo. A great read about behind the scenes in the fashion industry.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When Jimmy Choo’s exclusive collaboration with H&M lands in stores on 14th November, a glimpse of the brand’s glamorous world will be available to all. Not only will Jimmy Choo be providing the perfect shoes for the party season at H&M, it will also be offering the clothes and accessories to match, as well as dressing men from head to toe. The collection features details such as crystals, studs and animal prints that make Jimmy Choo such a pioneer in the world of accessories. Arriving in around 200 stores worldwide, soon all will be able to experience the passion for Jimmy Choo at H&M.

"The Jimmy Choo collection for H&M is full of fun, one-off items with an accessible and glamorous identity made with stylish materials, emphasised with colour and embellishment. I wanted to create pieces that would reach a cool and young customer with a fashionable and independent sense of spirit in this one-off collaboration." Tamara Mellon, Founder and President, Jimmy Choo.

"This Autumn Jimmy Choo brings vitality and sexy glamour to H&M. I love the really high strappy sandals with lots of decoration and attitude, matched with clean-cut, 80s-inspired clothes. Designer Tamara Mellon always shows her amazing shoes with equally amazing clothes, and we wanted to offer our customers a complete collection - including men's shoes and clothes too. I think this collection suits anyone with a flair for fashion and high heels." Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M.

It’s a shoe-lovers dream. For H&M, Jimmy Choo will be providing every style you need to see you through the season. From high heels and thigh-high boots to gladiator flats and ballet pumps, all the Jimmy Choo classic designs are there, and Jimmy Choo pulls out all the stops to provide decoration for the feet.There are crystal embellishments, studs, animal prints such as zebra, and accent colours of red and blue to give the shoes that real power. While glamour is the key to the skyscraper high heels, Jimmy Choo is also bringing a cropped Cuban-heel boot to H&M as well as the essential ballet pump to make it a truly complete collection.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cult status - Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik... doesn't that name give you flash backs of that Sex and the City episode when Carrie was in the Vogue fashion closet and comes across a pair of supposedly mythical Mary Janes. Even if they didn't fit her properly, she managed to squeeze her foot in them anyway. That is the appeal that "Manolo's" have had on the women of the world. You want them no matter what.

A friend of mine said to me once that she didn't see what was supposedly so great about Manolo's. And yes, she had seen them in person, their design, to her was not very striking or beautiful. But as I explained to her, with Manolo's it is also about the fit and not just what they look like. After all women don't go spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of Manolo's just because it looks pretty (unless you have millions of dollars spare of course, then you can buy anything that looks pretty). It is the design of the shoe that has women going gaga over Manolo Blahnik's.

Born in Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands in 1942, Manolo Blahnik was destined for big things. In 1965 after studying architecture and literature at the University of Geneva, Blahnik moved to Paris to study art. A few years later he's working at fashion boutiques and part of the thriving art scene of London. He hit New York in 1971, where he met with the legendary Diana Vreeland, who was then the editor of US Vogue. After looking at his drawings she encourages him to "go make shoes".

Fast forward a few years and Blahnik buys out Zapata, a boutique in Chelsea (England) that stocked his designs. By the late seventies, he broke into the US by creating a collection in Bloomingdales and opens up his first store the following year on New York's Madison Avenue. A partnership with George Malkemus, then a young copywriter in Bergdorf Goodman's marketing department helped Manolo's take off in the US.

Over the next few decades, he collaborates with many fashion designers from Calvin Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, John Galliano, Perry Ellis, Bill Blass, Caroline Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Zac Posen. With his successful formula of designing shoes with a "good solid look that will wear forever" his already long list of clientele continues to grow, with everyone from the rich and famous to royalty wearing Manolo's. It comes as no big surprise, after all this is a man that knows his shoes - he has been studying it for the past 30 years.

"I know how to cut and still make it so that it stays on the foot. And the secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe. You must only show the first two cracks. And the heel. Even if it's twelve centimetres high it still has to feel secure and that's a question of balance. That's why I carve each heel personally myself 'on the machine and then by hand with a chisel and file, until it's exactly right.'

With that kind of dedication, it is no wonder that he has women (and some men) going crazy over the newest and rarest pair of Manolo's.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The most expensive Louboutins in the world.

L’Wren has teamed up with shoe designer to the stars, Christian Louboutin, to create a limited collection of timeless sandals and pumps. Amongst this collection is “The Crocodile Pump” for $4,600. Christian’s bold approach to shoe design combined with L’Wren’s perfectionist vision for classic couture has created the perfect accessory for the little black dress. This distinctive pump highlights the designers leg lengthening style by adding a 100mm heel. The exceptional crocodile skin’s smooth finish in black is enhanced by Christian Louboutin’s red leather soles. Crocodile is all the rage these days so too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cobra Shields $120,000 Sandals

How justifiable is the idea of using a poisonous cobra as a safety guard of luxurious sandals? London’s retailer Harrods has practiced this ‘wise’ idea for the safety of its shoe outlet of which the most elite pair is $120,000 (62,000 pound) sandals.

In today's age of motion and touch sensors and every other kind of high-tech gadget we've got for security of precious goods, Harrods in London recently took a unique step to protect a pair of very expensive shoes: they hired a poisonous cobra to stand guard Rene Caovilla’s beautiful pair of thongs festooned with ruby- sapphire- and diamond-encrusted was under the custody of the live Egyptian cobra during the launch of the shoe collection on 10 September.

Obviously this was a publicity stunt, not a real security effort, but I say good for them. That's pretty clever, and for all intents and purposes it worked. The cobra has since returned to its owner and the shoes are, I'm sure, under a more traditional lock and key type security system. Curious what kind of shoes warranted such a show? A pair of red sandals by Rene Caovilla that are encrusted with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds and valued at about $120,000.
Security experts may counter it but hungry photographers would not skip this photogenic moment. Harrods spokeswoman confessed that the cobra was deputed especially for unveiling of the shoe collection and has been returned to its proprietor.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

McQueens snake shoes - uhh!

Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 runway collection was a statement about the future of our world. More specifically, the meltdown of our world due to global warming. The fantasy heels on the runway looked like they were out of this world - or at least this land. They were super high and featured interestingly curved booties designed for the the animalistic and bold. Im sorry but i think these are hideous. How many words are there for 'ugly'!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Biography of legendary shoe designer Roger Vivier

Born in Paris France, Vivier studied sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux in Paris until an invitation from friends to design a collection of shoes for their shoe factory, interrupted his studies. In 1936 he worked for other shoe makers before opening his own house the following year. Vivier designed for many major shoes manufacturers, Pinet, Bally, Delvain, Rayne and Turned in the UK. Vivier agreed to work exclusively for Delvain in 1938 but the completion of his contract as prevented by his mobilisation in 1939.

One year later he was out of the army and off to New York where he worked with Delvain until 1941. In 1942, having studied MIllinerary, Vivier opened a shop with Suzanne Remy, a well respected Parisian milliner. In 1945 back with Delvain he produced several collections one of which included crystal shoes. He returned to Paris and worked freelance until Dior opened a shoe department in his salon in 1953 and appointed vivier as designer. During his stay, Vivier made some o the most influential shoes of the period.

He translated 18th Century mules into evening shoes, court shoes and day boots. In 1957 he created a stacked heel, chisel toed shoes which become very populr. He made circular diamonte heels, wedge shoes and bread embroidered shoes. In the 1960’s he designed African sandals and a shoe with a mother of pearl and silver buckle. A nonconformist master craftsman who rarely faltered, Vivier was noted for his skill in positioning and balancing innovative heels and for his imaginative use of texture. He reopened his business in 1963 in Paris and continued to produce two collections a year until his death in 1998. .

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is your shopping footprint??

A shopping footprint is made up of the ways people shopping affects the environment. Shopping footprints include:
* the raw materials goods are made from
* how the goods are manufactured
* how goods are transported
* where goods are sold
* how the goods are packaged for sale

The shopping industry is made up if everything involved in the making and sale of the
things people buy. Farmers, manufacturers, shop owners ad ordinary people all benefit from the shopping industry. But shopping comes at a cost to the environment.

Instead of throwing away old shoes & bags, give it to charity so that it can be used by someone else.
Altering clothes to fit better is better for the environment than buying new ones
Reuse and recycle and reduce your shopping footprint
Outdoor shopping malls use less lighting, heating and cooling than indoor malls so they have lighter environmental footprint.
Shopping online provides a good alternative to driving to shops
Every cent that someone spends in a retail store, increases the size of their shopping footprint.
Leaving extra packaging behind in the shop encourages manufacturing to use less packaging in the future.

How to work out your shopping footprint
On a piece of paper make a note of how regularly (never, sometimes, often) you:
travel to the shops in a car
go shopping without knowing exactly what you plan to buy
buy clothes and wear them only for one season
buy products because they are cheapest, without thinking about how long they might last
put packaging straight into the garbage without cutting out the bits that can be recycled.

If you’re answers are mostly never, you have a light shopping footprint
If you’re answers are mostly sometimes, means your footprints are average
Often you are trading heavily on the environment and leaving a deep footprint

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christian Louboutin is a master of the platform shoe and is famous for his red sole shoe.

BUt you dont think of champaigne when you think of Louboutin, do you. Well that might soon change.

Louboutin is dabbling in the champagne business. In October, Christian Louboutin will launch his own champagne with champagne house Piper Heidsieck. The limited edition “Le Rituel” box set is meant to revive an old ritual in the 1880s of drinking from the shoe of a woman. The crystal stiletto designed by Christian Louboutin will carry the signature red sole and is included in this limited edition gift box set.

No word on pricing. Hope you can get it in Oz.

Taking platforms to the extreme

Now i am the ultimate shoe loving princess. I love my heels and it is a very rare day that you see me in flats. Most people i know have never seen that rare phenomen. But there is a limit to just how high a platform i will wear....

Versace Spring 2010 Fantasy Land Shoes: Donatella Versace’s Spring Collection was said to be inspired by the upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie from Tim Burton. This must explain the medley of playful polka dot, geometric, and pastel prints. These heels will add inches to your height and will make you stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shoes good enough to eat - literally!!

How fab do these shoes look? They look so great you can eat them - literally! They are cakes by famous cake artists and designer Rachel Mount in London. Amazing...