SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Celebrates the 10th BIRTHDAY of its Famed 10022-SHOE Salon

It’s been 10 years since Saks revolutionized the shoe industry with a shoe floor so big it needed its own zip code; the luxury retailer marks this incredible milestone with more than 75 exclusive styles, windows featuring custom designer birthday cakes, exclusive made-to-order programs, and moredownload (2)

On August 17, Saks Fifth Avenue will celebrate the 10th birthday of its famed 10022-SHOE salon. A pioneer in the footwear industry, Saks Fifth Avenue was among the first retailers to place a greater focus on shoes by creating a shoe department so big, the U.S. Postal Service granted the floor its own ZIP code―10022-SHOE. And now, 10 years later, 10022-SHOE is home to 110 designer brands―a number that has more than doubled since its inception in 2007; holds as many as 200,000 pairs of shoes; and has been expanded into 25 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Brands such as Jimmy Choo, CHANEL, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Saint Laurent, and Gucci, among others, have been with 10022-SHOE since the very beginning and will honor its 10th birthday at Saks with exclusive styles, made-to-order programs, custom birthday cake window designs, and more.

Saks Fifth Avenue

(Photo Courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Saks Fifth Avenue)

Throughout the past 10 years, Saks Fifth Avenue has held a constant and dominating presence in the shoe industry, selling on average 850,000 pairs of shoes per year, which equates to approximately 8.5 million over the course of its 10 year history―that’s enough “shoe footage” to travel up and down the Empire State Building close to 2,000 times!

Coupled with its impressive selection, 10022-SHOE has played host to many launches, exhibitions and firsts:

  • In 2008, 10022-SHOE was chosen to host the 70th anniversary exhibition of ruby slippers honoring the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” which included styles by designers including Oscar de la Renta, Stuart Weitzman and Roger Vivier, as well as Judy Garland‘s original ruby slippers designed by Adrian Greenberg of MGM studios;
  • From 2008 to 2015, designers such as Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura, Paul Andrew and Nicholas Kirkwood, among many others, made special appearances at 10022-SHOE locations across the country;
  • In early 2015, 10022-SHOE paid tribute to Disney’s live-action film inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella,” by collaborating, in partnership with Disney Consumer Products, with nine luxury designers―including Paul Andrew, Tabitha Simmons, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo and Salvatore Ferragamo―to create their own interpretations of Cinderella‘s famed glass slipper;
  • Later in 2015, 10022-SHOE made history with the launch of Manolo Blahnik’s first U.S. shop-in-shop in the United States; and
  • In 2016, Saks opened its first store dedicated solely to shoes—10022-SHOE Greenwich—located in the heart of Greenwich, CT.

The strength and growth of 10022-SHOE over the past 10 years is a testament to Saks’ commitment to the footwear category as well as our customers’ desire for the depth and breadth of our designer and emerging designer shoe assortment,” stated Tracy Margolies, Chief Merchant, Saks Fifth Avenue. “10022-SHOE is a landmark for shoe lovers in New York City and around the world for one-of-a-kind merchandise and experiences that they cannot find anywhere else―a core principle of Saks’ identity.”

Beginning this month, Saks Fifth Avenue is celebrating 10022-SHOE‘s 10th birthday with:

  • More than 75 exclusive shoe styles from powerhouse brands such as Aquazzura, Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Valentino Garavani and Gianvito Rossi;
  • 12 exclusive made-to-order programs, including programs by Prada, Alexandre Birman, Manolo Blahnik, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roger Vivier and Jimmy Choo; and
  • 16 designer Happy Birthday 10022-SHOE cakes featured in the New York flagship store’s windows designed by brands such as Valentino Garavani, Gianvito Rossi, Gucci and Prada.

From Thursday, Aug. 17 until Sunday, Aug. 20, Saks will showcase a visual installation in its New York flagship, entitled “10 Galleries: A Decade of Shoes.” Each of the 10 installations will play off the 10022-SHOE exclusive items and trends and invite customers to discover, interact with, and celebrate all things shoes.

Notable footwear designers share memories about Saks Fifth Avenue and 10022-SHOE:

Designer Christian Louboutin speaks about his fondest memory of Saks’ 10022-SHOE: “Doing a personal appearance on the shoe level when it was first opened where women told me intimate stories about themselves and their shoes. It made me understand the desire of the American customer, their differences in their approach, and their taste for luxury.”

Designer Manolo Blahnik speaks about his fondest memory of Saks’ 10022-SHOE: “I think when we first launched our boutique in 2015―we had a book signing and dinner. It was an honour to meet so many women who loved my shoes … I love it [Saks]! It has always been one of my favourite stores, so beautiful and feminine!

Designer Sandra Choi of Jimmy Choo―a brand which first launched at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1997―recalls her favorite memory, designing the commemorative 2007 10022-SHOE stamp: “The custom Jimmy Choo stamp I designed for the inauguration of the shoe floor 10 years ago. It was designed to reflect the unique zip code that was created to mark the opening. It featured a sketch I drew of a signature pump, it was such a fun and original idea.”

Designer Nicholas Kirkwood speaks to his exclusive 10022-SHOE birthday style: “I wanted to create something completely different to celebrate the 10022-SHOE 10th birthday, but also something special, and I loved the idea of the interplay between masculinity and femininity so it was from there that I designed the Combat boot.”

Designer Paul Andrew speaks about his partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue: “Saks has been a signifier of style and sophistication since they opened their doors for the first time in 1924. When I launched my own brand in 2013, my very first order came from Saks. It was a surreal moment—and Saks will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason.”

Designer Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura speaks fondly about Saks Fifth Avenue: “Saks is such an iconic shopping hub, especially the historic Fifth Avenue flagship, and it’s just amazing to be carried there and all over the United States … Saks was the first department store to buy AQUAZZURA in the U.S. and as one of our key partners, they have continued to believe in me and my designs ever since. Over the years the working relationship has blossomed into a friendship.

Check out Saks’ 10 top shoe trends in the upcoming Saks Fifth Avenue Shoe Book, which will be available in stores and on saks.com August 16. Visitors can view their local stores’ 10022-SHOE celebratory activities on the Store & Locations page on Saks.com. Saks Fifth Avenue also welcomes viewers to connect via its social channels, and to follow #10022SHOE for insider access.

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Cole Haan Collaborates With Staple Design On Limited-Edition Sneaker

Cole Haan, the global lifestyle brand and retailer, is joining forces with renowned street culture icon, Jeff Staple, to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Staple Design brand with the launch of the Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ x Staple Design sneaker to mark the occasion. Fusing tradition and modernity, the collaboration marks a hallmark moment for the two innovative brands by providing a sophisticated, well-crafted product that exudes street sensibility, without sacrificing craft, style or comfort.Cole Haan x Staple Design Logo

Jeff Ng (aka “jeffstaple”) is an established graphic and fashion designer, curator, branding expert, footwear aficionado, and all-around creative visionary. He founded Staple Design, Inc. in 1997: now a well-known streetwear brand (@StaplePigeon), creative consulting agency (Staple Design) and retail store (@ReedSpace, which opened in 2002). Over the years, Jeff has taken Staple’s motto, “A Positive Social Contagion” to whole new levels, spreading his instinctual design know-how and fresh knowledge across all media platforms and worldwide.

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Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ x Staple Design Sneaker

Working with Cole Haan represents an opportunity to show the world how far Staple has come in this — our 20th year of existence. Cole Haan to me is at the perfect intersection of innovation, sophistication, and design. I am extremely proud that Staple is now a part of its storied history,” commented Staple.

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Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ x Staple Design Sneaker 1

Cole Haan elevated the original ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ by executing the Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ x Staple Design in twisted yarn for a marbled spectator effect to create the classic Cole Haan wingtip design. The shoe’s functional zonal knitting ensures stability and breathability. Featuring a sleek heather grey colorway and iconic Staple Pigeon logo, this is sneaker innovation at its finest.

Cole Haan is honored to work with NYC’s cultural icon, Jeff Staple, and Staple Design, especially on his 20th anniversary,” said Scott Patt, Vice President of Design & Innovation at the Cole Haan Global Innovation Center in New Hampshire. “Jeff and his work represent all that is New York in its grit, adaptation, and individuality. This partnership is a celebration of our shared values and our dedication to craft, style, and engineering in everything we make.”

Priced at $300, the Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ x Staple Design will be available exclusively on www.ColeHaan.com.

Stuart Weitzman Launches 2017 Bridal Collection

Here comes the bride…to a Stuart Weitzman boutique. The Stuart Weitzman Spring 2017 Bridal Collection enhances the brand’s iconic minimalist sandal silhouettes with elegant new details and materials for the bride to walk down the aisle in style. The sexy, simple NUDIST sandal is available in three heel heights and a variety of luxe materials, including white satin, argento noir, platinum gold noir and rose gold patent leather. The popular NEARLYNUDE block heel sandal is updated for the spring bridal collection, offered in white or light blue leather and finished with a glittering heel. The bride-to-be looking to add a little sparkle to her step still has the option to embellish these iconic styles with clear, chalk white or “Something Blue” light sapphire Swarovski crystals.

Stuart Weitzman 2017 Bridal Collection

The Stuart Weitzman 2017 Bridal Collection

Footwear plays a major role in every bride’s big day, so for those Instagram-able moments, the brand will continue to offer a customization based on Weitzman’s own proposal to his wife of 50 years, Jane, when he got down on one knee with a shoe instead of a ring. The lining of the one-of-a-kind shoe was inscribed “Made expressly for the future Mrs. Weitzman.” The bridal customization program takes a page out of the designer’s playbook by offering brides the option to personalize their sock lining with their new married name and wedding date.

Weitzman 2017 Bridal Collection

The Stuart Weitzman 2017 Bridal Collection

Additional silhouettes round out the assortment, including the MEMOIR, a low strappy sandal in glitter lace and a duo of chic barely-there flat sandals, the TWEETY and the BALLSOFFIRE. The MOREPEARLS, a block heel sandal adorned with feminine pearls, offers an ornate option for the bride. Retail prices range from $398 – $485. The Swarovski crystal-encrusted NEARLYNUDE and NUDIST retail for $2,200.

On the heels of last year’s successful Bridal Collection relaunch, the brand will bring the bridal program, previously available online only, to select regional boutiques this spring. The collection will debut exclusively at the Michigan Avenue, Madison Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, Rodeo Drive, South Coast Plaza, NorthPark Center and Lenox Square boutiques and will continue to be available at www.stuartweitzman.com. The collection will arrive in stores and online mid-April.

Stuart Weitzman will celebrate the new bridal collection with in-store events at below locations:

  • Thursday, April 20th – Madison Avenue, New York boutique – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 25th – Michigan Avenue, Chicago boutique – 2pm – 6pm
  • Wednesday, April 26th – NorthPark, Dallas boutique – 2pm – 6pm
  • Thursday, April 27th – Lenox Square, Atlanta boutique – 2pm – 6pm

Nike Unveils Collection to Celebrate Air Max Day

Highlighted Includes Release of New Nike Air VaporMax

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Nike Unveils Collection to Celebrate Air Max Day (Photo Business Wire)

Three years ago Nike launched Air Max Day, a response to global fervor for one of the most beloved footwear platforms of all time. Today, Nike begins a journey to this year’s Air Max Day, a worldwide celebration of Air highlighted by the long-awaited release of the Nike Air VaporMax.

Nike will celebrate Air Max Day on March 26 by marking the 30th anniversary of the Air Max 1, the shoe that pushed footwear to unprecedented heights with new cushioning style and performance features. Throughout March, Nike will release a mix of retros, remixes, and innovations. This fresh line-up of Air, including the highly anticipated Nike Air VaporMax, represents the latest chapter of Nike’s longstanding commitment to serving athletes. The new product delivers on what consumers want, by transforming the athletic footwear landscape with the most powerful and resilient underfoot platform yet.womens-nike-air-max-jewell

The Nike Air VaporMax is a tremendous example of what happens when we harness the combined insights of our design collective. When designers embrace the technology and push its potential, we have a boundless future. Just as the Air allows us to run forever, it allows our imaginations to ponder near limitless permutations,” said John Hoke, Vice President, Global Design for Nike.

Air has been an integral part of Nike since it was first introduced in the 1979 Air Tailwind. In the decades since, it’s drawn strong consumer devotion; a massive and passionate consumer fan base that has driven design and depth of product. Nike Air has disrupted the industry with color, materials and the Air platform itself. For the first eight years, it was hidden – felt rather than seen. Then, in 1987, it became visible with Air Max. It soon evolved, spreading from running to basketball to training and tennis, all while becoming a coveted lifestyle product across the globe. The line quickly endeared itself to consumers because of its responsiveness to movement, its durability, and its groundbreaking and beautiful design.

Through it all, Nike Air technology has driven the industry forward and continues to define what’s possible with underfoot cushioning. With Nike Air VaporMax, athletes get closer to the sensation of Air than ever, with layers removed between the foot and the Air platform itself. This innovation and dedication have created a product that consumers are passionate about, and demand year after year – and the Nike Air Max delivers yet again.

In 2016, by popular vote, consumers “voted back” the Nike Air Max 1 atmos Elephant, which makes its return as part of the Air product line-up. The Women’s Nike Air Max Jewell is the second-ever women’s Air Max shoe. Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Flyknit delivers on what consumers expect, and ask for Flyknit, a high-performing, breathable, supportive upper; and Air, responsive, agile, strong, beautiful and light. Continue reading

Retail News: Nordstrom Is Nation’s Favorite Fashion Retailer, New Market Force Study Finds

Annual Retail Study Also Uncovers Top Shoe Brands, And Trends In Consumer Confidence, Wearables And E-Commerce

Nordstrom’s fan base is as fervent as ever. For the fifth time in a row, Nordstrom ranked as the nation’s favorite fashion retailer in an annual retail industry study conducted by Market Force Information (Market Force). Market Force polled over 10,000 consumers for the study, which ranks top fashion retailers, reveals retail technology trends and looks at spending plans and habits.

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Market Force Information (Market Force) logo

The survey was conducted online in December 2016 across the United States. There was an overall pool of 10,714 respondents covering all four U.S. Census regions. Within the survey pool, 7,241 reported shopping for fashion at a favorite retailer within the past 90 days, and 5,494 reported shopping for shoes within the past six months. There was a broad spectrum of income levels, with 54% indicating incomes of over $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 75% were women and 25% were men. For the rankings, Market Force asked participants to rate their customer satisfaction with their most recent fashion retailer experience, and their likelihood to refer the brand to others. The results were averaged to attain a Composite Loyalty Score. Only retailers with at least 100 locations were included.

Dillard’s and T.J. Maxx Climb Higher in Rankings

Nordstrom, which has built a reputation for incomparable customer service, ranked first among the retailers studied with a score of 64%, up 6% from 2016. Dillard’s made even larger strides from last year, gaining 16% percentage points to rank second with 54%, and was closely trailed by off-price retailer T.J. Maxx, which earned a 53% score. Ann Taylor and Nordstrom Rack landed in the top of the rankings, after not making the cut last year, tying with Kohl’s for fourth place. [See Graph 1].

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Graph 1 – 2017 Fashion Retailer Rankings

Nordstrom Top for Value, Dillard’s for Creating Full Looks

In the attributes that set one retailer apart from the others, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor and Dillard’s all performed exceedingly well. Overall-winner Nordstrom ranked first for value, atmosphere, and ease of finding items, while Dillard’s took the No. 1 spots for creating a look and finding correct sizes. Ann Taylor landed in the top three in all of these categories. T.J. Maxx and Ross were called out for merchandise selection, and American Eagle has the fastest checkout speeds. [See Graphs 2 and 3].

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Graph 2 – Rankings by Attributes

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Graph 3 – Rankings by Attributes

Sizing up Sales Support

Despite the fact that sales assistance is shown to boost satisfaction and sales, less than half (42%) of consumers report being helped by an associate during their last shopping trip. Lane Bryant’s and Nordstrom’s associates assisted customers most often, while Target and T.J. Maxx shoppers received the least help. [See Graph 4].graph-4-sales-associate-effectiveness-by-retailer

Sales associates are the front-line representatives for retailers, and how they engage with customers can make or break the shopping experience and impact sales,” said Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force Information. “The research shows that 90% of customers who were assisted by a sales associate bought something. When customers were not assisted, only 82% made a purchase. That 8% difference in conversion rate is a key reason why fashion retailers need to invest in their sales staff.” Continue reading

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Names Honorees for the 2017 American Image Awards

The American Apparel & Footwear Association today announced its 2017 American Image Awards honorees: Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory (Person of the Year); Marc Fisher Footwear (Company of the Year); Stuart Vevers of Coach, Inc. (Designer of the Year); Nick Graham (Fashion Maverick); and Ed Nardoza (Lifetime Achievement Award). Owned and operated by the AAFA, the American Image Awards began in 1977 to honor those who have exemplified leadership, excellence, and outstanding achievement in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry, including education, design, manufacturing, and retail. Award-winning stage and screen actor Alan Cumming will emcee the gala. Presented on April 24 in New York City, the American Image Awards will benefit the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation. This year’s ceremony will take place at the historic 583 Park Avenue venue in New York City.aafamemberlogotwocolor

Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of $361 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA stands at the forefront as a leader of positive change for the apparel and footwear industry and delivers a unified voice on key legislative and regulatory issues. The organization enables a collaborative forum to promote best practices and innovation and its comprehensive work ensures the continued success and growth of the apparel and footwear industry, its suppliers, and its customers.

The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) is a program of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and was created to nurture, elevate, and preserve garment production in New York City, ultimately connecting fashion designers to local manufacturing. The program includes: FMI Grant Fund offering matching grants to facilities committed to improving their services through innovation and technology; Apparel Skills Training Courses to generate a stronger workforce; a New York City Production Database on www.CFDA.com; and ongoing professional development sessions, industry events and collaborative partnerships. Continue reading

A New Level Of Lite: Cole Haan Launches ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™

Cole Haan announces the launch of ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™, a stylish transformation of the traditional leather Wingtip Oxford. Taking shape in a distinctive knit style, the shoe delivers dramatic improvements in lightness and breathability through the art of construction.

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Cole Haan Men’s ZERØGRAND Stitchlite(TM)  in Marine Blue/Optic White

ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ is our newest elegant innovation as we continue our quest to reimagine and reinvent the definition of dress footwear,” says Jack Boys, Chief Executive Officer at Cole Haan. “We are excited to deliver this outstanding shoe to customers that are as comfortable in the office as they are about town.”

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Cole Haan Men’s ZERØGRAND Stitchlite(TM) in Ironstone/Ivory

Cole Haan has artfully constructed the men’s and women’s ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ as the next frontier in innovative wingtips; versatile, lightweight and understatedly elegant. The men’s ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ Wingtip Oxford arrives just in time for Spring, with an array of vibrant colorways like Burnt Orange, Optic White, and Marine Blue. With a nod to the storied heritage of Cole Haan, subtle leather details accompany the men’s styles. For women, the shoes come in Optic White Knit/Vapor grey, Ironstone Knit/Tropical Peach and Marine Blue Knit/Optic White.

This groundbreaking oxford features zonally designed dynamic stitching and static tight gauge-stitching to create a customized, foot-hugging fit while open, pointelle-stitching details improve breathability and moisture control,” says Scott Patt, Vice President of Design & Innovation at the Cole Haan Global Innovation Center in New Hampshire. “The upper design of the ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ Wingtip Oxford works in harmony with an anatomically engineered outsole mimicking the natural motion of the foot.”

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Cole Haan Women’s ZERØGRAND Stitchlite(TM) in Ironstone/Tropical Peach

Rubber pods on the forefoot and heel allow for an improved grip on any surface while a signature Grand.ØS energy foam footbed and unit sole provides cushioning for the ultimate in comfort.

The ZERØGRAND Stitchlite™ collection is available now on www.ColeHaan.com and in the US and international Cole Haan Stores.