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For over a decade, Pantone (the self-professed world-renowned authority on color) chooses a single color that they predict will be influential in the coming year. In case you missed it last year, their pick was 15-5519 Turquoise, because, as the official press release declared, “Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.” For 2011, Pantone selected 18-2120 Honeysuckle – a medium reddish pink, and¬† released this statement: “Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges.” Pretty heavy stuff. But if that isn’t a great reason to go shopping for a new pair of shoes, I don’t know what is ūüėČ

So, the official color is Honeysuckle, but I think any pink or coral colored shoe will be in the spirit of things. And designers are knocking out tons of pink shoes for resort and spring collections, so finding a pair right now is easy. If you’re looking for something to start you off early and keep you cozy as the winter slowly ends, I recommend the Koolaburra ugg boots in a soft pink below or an enclosed pink suede pump like the pair pictured by Kelsi Dagger (with the cutest removable elastic bow!).

Pantone says that you can easily pair Honeysuckle with basic colors like black, navy, charcoal or light to mid gray. But, for something more exciting, they suggest mixing in complementary bronze greens or a pinkish Apricot Brandy brown hues into your wardrobe with it. I vote pairing these with a maxi dress or with jeans and a drapey cream-colored blouse. Just remember these shoes are made to be the focal point of a basic outfit.

For the start of warm weather, Manolo Blahnik flip flop sandals are actually an almost-affordable way to enjoy the brand. You should also take a look at jumping on two trends at once by going for a platform style (or a “flatform” – an essentially flat shoe as far as feel goes, with equal or near equally tall platforms front and back) or an espadrille (always a summer favorite). And of course, since I have a special place in my heart for Melissa shoes, I was happy to see they’re also making a few pink shoes this season so that I could feature one here.

You know, maybe there is something to what Pantone said; I already feel my spirits lifting just by imagining walking out of the house with these shoes. I’m sure we can rationalize a pair of two now, especially if our mental health is at stake ūüėČ

Jeffrey Campbell The Turino Shoe

Koolaburra Savanitty

Kelsi Dagger Tiffany

Manolo Blahnik Suede-Flower Thong Sandal

Dolce Vita Strappy Platform Wedge

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge

Stella McCartney Raffia Crossover Sandals

Lanvin Ankle-Wrap Platform Wedge

seychelles harlow

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Anglomania

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Ballistic (womens)

People don’t just want shoes to be comfortable anymore, they want their shoes to physically do something for them. Brands eager to fill this trend have created shoes that can, for example, hold a pedometer or music player in the insole, give a built-in workout, or, as Gravity Defyer claims, relieve your¬†foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain!

Gravity Defyer delivers this pain free promise with the help of their “Versoshock trampoline technology” which includes memory springs and twin stabilizer springs inside the heels of every shoe. In simple terms, their shoes absorb shock when you step down and propel you forward with each step (also called rebounding) which then reduces fatigue and restores your energy. They’ve got a nifty split shoe diagram on their website and lots more research posted there too on the health benefits of the shoes, so check them out at: http://gravitydefyer.com or http://gdefy.com (same site, just whatever’s easier to remember).

Ballistic (womens)

But making claims is one thing; this kind of promise asks for some serious testing. So, when Gravity Defyer offered me some shoe to try out, I decided that my desk jockey (and all around painless) self was not an ideal candidate. Instead, I gave the shoes to my mom, who walks 2 miles to work (often another 2 miles back home too) and is on her feet all day (plus she has to walk the dog a few times in there too). She also had recently been experiencing some knee pain, so I couldn’t think of a better test subject. She tried out one of Gravity Defyer’s bestsellers, the Ballistic style (pictured), and here’s her trial log:

DAY 1 – Put on my Ballistic shoes this morning and had NO PAIN in my knee! I usually wake up in the morning limping with pain so I’m shocked! I went out to walk my dog, Lola, for 20 minutes and still no pain. Very strange. I’m off today and just sitting around the house, so not much more to write for now.

DAY 2 – Walked 2 miles to work and the shoes feel great! I stand in one place a lot at work and after about 6 or 7 hours my feet started to ache a bit, but when I started walking around again, they felt better. By the time I got home (got a ride from a co-worker) my feet were hurting a bit, but definitely not as bad as they usually do and my knee still didn’t hurt at all!

DAY 3 – I reached for my Ballistic sneakers as soon as my feet were out of the bed. These sneakers are like a miracle cure for my knee; it doesn’t hurt at all as long as I have these shoes on. Again I walked to work this morning and I felt great, had tons of energy, but just standing for hours without moving began to give me some pain in my heel. By the end of the day, my heel is still not feeling great, but walking home it started feeling better.

DAY 4 – I’ve figured out a system: I wear my Gravity Defyer sneakers on my walk to work and when I’m out with Lola, and just bring a different pair of sneakers with me to switch into for the long hours of standing in one place. Then, I put my Ballistic’s back on for my walk home. Yay! Perfect shoe day! I’ve been telling all of my customers about these shoes too, they’re impressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some orders pretty soon.

DAY 5 – Today I had a day off but lots of errands, so I’m going to wear the Ballistics all day. I don’t have a car, so it’s a combination of walking and taking the bus to go to the grocery store, the hair salon, the bookstore, etc., and taking Lola on a long walk. I feel great! No foot or knee pain. These are definitely the shoes to wear while moving!

Thanks mom  8)

Paskal (mens)

I also really want to recommend taking a look at Gravity Defyer shoes if you’re a guy or looking for a gift for a male in your life. Their mens dress shoes are seriously wow-worthy. I especially like the Paskal, Philippe, Theodore, Fabian and Gabriel… ok, all of them. No, really! As soon as I convince my ex-skater boy husband that he should trade in his sneakers for some grown up shoes, we’re going for these.

Philippe (mens)

Gravity Defyer also has some other womens options like mary-janes, ballet flats, loafers and mules which you should take a look at. You’ll probably have a hard time getting¬† your teenage daughter to wear a pair, but for adults, especially adults with pain, I’m sure high fashion style points will be happily traded for insanely comfortable shoes.

Randomly – if you can see it on the sneaker above or if you visit their website, yes, Gravity Defyer’s logo is exactly what you think it is… they call it their seed of life logo and it’s just because it’s cool. ūüėČ

avatarWoodstock, The original Woodstock music festival, happened 40 years ago this weekend, from Aug. 15 to 17, 1969!  But that gathering was about a lot more than just some great bands, man Рeven the famous event poster (below) proclaimed the festival was to be three days of peace (first) and then music Рthere were political motivations, social and rock & roll history being made, inspiration for the reuse and recycling we see today, and there was definitely some great fashion: peasant blouses, tie-dye, bell bottom jeans, beads, patchwork, vests, maxi dresses, fringe, etc.

The original Woodstock event poster

The original Woodstock event poster

Interestingly, the town of Bethel (where the festival was actually held), has been so against another Woodstock happening that, according to the Times Herald-Record,¬† the owners of the land “many still consider hallowed ground were spreading chicken manure on that fertile soil to keep the pilgrims and plain curious from visiting.”¬† However, according¬† in 1989, 20,000 people gathered anyway for an impromptu 20th anniversary celebration and this weekend might be even bigger. Visit the Times Herald-Record live coverage!

Anyway, enjoy the fun shoes below and the spirit of the time.¬† And here’s something great to remember whenever you’re getting dressed in the morning that Jimi Hendrix is attributed to have said:

“You have to forget about what other people say, when you’re supposed to die, or when you’re supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.”

A little bit arts & craft, a lot bit cool

All Black – a little bit arts & craft, a lot bit cool

Ecote -  Flower Power!

Ecote – flower power!

Minnetonka - comes with detachable feathers and beaded tassle

Minnetonka – comes with detachable feathers and a beaded tassle

Rocket Dog Sheriff

Rocket Dog – perfectly slouchy and lived in from the first wear

Collection Fifty Nine - why yes, I (could have) whipstiched these together myself

Collection Fifty Nine – why yes, I (could have) whipstitched these together myself

Guess - Even some hippies wore heels

Guess – even some hippies wore heels

Come on РRebel, man!  This is Woodstock for the new millennium. Here are some ideas to incorporate that peace and love style into your everyday for the end of the summer and into fall 2009.

Just a smidge of tassle on a luxe suede bootie

Madison Harding – Just a smidge of tassle on a luxe suede bootie

Cocobelle - grab those gladiators before summer's over

Cocobelle – grab those gladiators before summer’s over

Frye - classic style in an unexpected color

Frye – classic style in an unexpected color

TOMS- it doesn't have to be tie-dye to be groovy

TOMS- it doesn’t have to be tie-dye to be groovy

Georgina Goodman - the new flower power

Georgina Goodman – the new flower power

Simple - get in the spirit with recycled, eco-friendly materials!

Simple – get in the spirit with recycled, eco-friendly materials!

avatarJune, and springtime in general¬†(the first official day of Summer isn’t until June 21!),¬†is such a crazy time for picking out what shoes to wear. No, not necessarily because designers are trying our new things or because stores are ready and waiting for high school-ers on vacation; it’s all because of the weather. In June, anything can happen, at least in New York: downpours of rain, sunshine, ridiculous heat,¬†a slight on/off drizzle, etc. This morning the forecast was partially cloudy, 60% chance of rain, temps 55-75. I took the subway and half the people were wearing full boots (rubber, suede, leather – all kinds), some were in canvas sneakers, some in¬†closed toe heels, and the others were in exposed-toe sandals or flip-flops (commuters love to be comfy). So do you keep every single pair in your shoe collection out all this month for an overcrowded closet or just risk cold, wet feet (at least for part of the day) when the sky goes gray?

I think there’s a better solution and one that allows you to start packing away your winter clothes now (my favorite time of the year!).¬†All boots can go into storage with the exception of rubber rain boots, depending on where you live, although I hate wearing them: I’ve never found a comfy pair yet, and they’re always so heavy! This is probably why one of my favorite picks for June are waterproof shoes (not boots)! I love the faux lace-up detail on the Sigerson Morrison pair below and the simple bow on the pair by Kate Spade; they’re cute¬†worry free ballet flats. The glossy black Sperry Top-Sider loafers in the center of the second row are actually rubber too!

Another shoe I love for spring are loafer styles. Loafers are so under appreciated but they can really be super cozy and yes, un-old lady like too ;). You can still go for suede even with temps slowly rising (now’s the time to test out the year-round claim Uggs make), but I’d¬†choose more of a moccasin style if you do, otherwise you’ll look a little crazy wearing them whenever your city tops 80 degrees. Moccasins are “supposed” to be suede, at least in my mind, so¬†they don’t looks specifically like a winter shoe¬†(like the moccasin sneakers by See by Chloe below) –¬†just don’t forget the water resistant protection spray. If suede isn’t doing it for you, pick up a patent leather loafer in an off-white or bright color like the Prada scrunch version¬†below; water’ll just slide right off.

Sigerson Morrison purple rubber flats Prada scrunch loafer Kate Spade Kerry rubber flats
see-by-chloe-hi-top-sneaker-moccasins Sperry Top-Sider Pelican Loafer Ugg Dakota Loafers

Wow, I can’t believe I actually have a blog with no high heels in it! I have been doing a huge amount of walking lately, maybe its subconscious. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it next time. Happy Leave Work Early Day!

avatarHappy Earth Day! I just found out about some great eco-conscious brands and news, so I thought today would be a perfect day to share.

First off is a new (to me, at least) shoe brand named SoleRebels. Based in Ethiopia, SoleRebels is channeling the skills over 40 people from¬†the village community¬†of Zenabwork with full time jobs and over 100 people with part-time jobs. African entrepreneur and founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu said to WWD magazine, “We passionately believe that trade, not aid, is the key to upliftment.‚ÄĚ

From materials (like recycled car tires for soles and organic, hand-loomed cotton uppers from Ethiopians paid fair wages) and talent almost exclusively sourced locally, SoleRebels are now selling in stores all over the US, like Whole Foods, and online! They sought to re-invent the traditional Ethiopian selate shoe which, since its not so traditional over here state side, looks like something all-together new. SoleRebels uses both bright and muted colors, that means something for everyone, and the line has created many different styles with closed-toe and open-toe options. Plus, price points range well in the affordable category at $30 to $65.

SoleRebels A Twist of Sole Sandal SoleRebels slipout light SoleRebels Fauna Flip-Flop Sandals

Second, I just found out that Payless Shoe Source has launched a plan to contribute a portion of sales this year from their new green Zoe&Zac line AND from purchases of their $1.99 reusable shopping tote (and trust me, even though you’ve seen a million of them, this one is cute!) towards planting one billion trees with The Nature Conservatory’s aptly named Plant A Billion Trees program. I’m down with that, if I may say so, and I’ve lined up some of my shopping list items below, not to mention the bag.

zoe&zac tigerlily wedge zoe&zac Ginger mary jane flat zoe&zac Snapdragon Ballet

Last, after being reminded by Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide how much I love canvas sneakers (and being as their now in fashion and all), I decided to go to the source and visit the Keds website directly to see their new offerings. I was happily surprised to find a whole new Green section which, while not too large, has the same appeal as the shoes I expect from the brand. In addition to the usual recycled rubber soles (not to say that isn’t a huge step), these Keds also feature non-toxic inks and dyes, shoelaces that are 100% recycled water bottles, nickle-free eyelets and recycled insoles!

Their two green shoe styles (each in a few different colors) are below and hopefully we’ll be able to watch this section continue to grow!

Keds Willow lace up in green Keds Meadow Moc in blue

P.S. I love this idea sponsored by Nickelodeon’s Big Green Help for everyone to turn off their lights tonight at 9 pm for one minute! (hopefully it doesn’t result in massive power overload induced outages when all the lights come back on, but let’s not let that ruin the fun).

nyshoespyI’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this blog. You’re seriously not going to believe it, but every single pair of the shoes below are made entirely out of some sort of rubber or plastic!!! (with the exception of the occasional tassel, buckle or laces).

I haven’t seen this trend covered much in the mainstream media yet, but when old, well-established houses like Tods, Givenchy and Gucci dabble in molded PVC for their Spring collections and so do designers prone to the avant-garde like Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood AND contemporary brands like Tory Burch, Melissa and See by Chloe… well, I would call that a full blown trend.

The best part is that most of these styles are totally affordable; even with all the designer names I’ve stacked up for you, not one shoe is over $200!

See for yourself ūüėČ

Melissa Joy + Ah Jelly Oxfords Melissa Three-Strap Ballerina Gladiator
Givenchy flat tie-up plastic shoe Tods jelly thong sandals
Gucci Etretat Rubber Flats Melissa Strappy Fetish Sandals
Cesare Paciotti Jelly Plateau See by Chloe ankle-strap sandals
Tory Burch Jelly Reva parrot pink

avatar¬†Just some neat tidbits to keep you up to date in the shoe world. And after a relatively cold spell in New York City this week, I thought I’d try to remind everyone that it is still August with some beachy (and numeric!) footprints.¬† Enjoy!

 

After a fun collaboration with Eleanor Grosch which featured her cute animal prints and another with Nanette Leporewhich dressed up their basic flat sneakers, Keds is now joining forces with Zazzle.com to announce Keds Studio. This means that you’ll now be able to do what those designers did: take a plain classic lace-up or slip-on style and make it totally your own!

Now there are other footwear companies that currently have online customization programs; off the top of my head I can think of converse.com and timberland.com. However, the new Keds Studio goes a step further and will also allow you to upload your own graphics, text and art (as well as pre-created options, of course). We’re talking about the potential for absolutely, one of a kind shoes! So awesome. Wait, more? Now let’s say your shoes rock everyone’s socks and people are falling off sidewalks begging to know where they can get a pair… Keds Studio will also allow you to sell your design on their site and you get to name the price! Any difference between the actual cost and your price goes to you!! (I know there are a lot of exclamations in this paragraph, but honestly, I love it). Maybe I’m the only one that thinks about it this early, but Christmas presents? right?

** If you make a pair of your own, please post a link to your shoe gallery in your comment. I’d love to see how creative you are. I’ll post a picture of my shoes as soon as I make them.

 

I just heard about these great new shoes called The After Party Shoe. Unlike what you may have been squishing into your handbag when you know you’re not going to want walk home in those heels, these shoes fold in half and slip into a cute little carrying pouch to keep the dirt, etc out of your bag! (I have ruined the white interior of a gorgeous handbag because of carrying my shoes inside – note: if you’re ever making a handbag, ix-nay on the white interior-ay). Or, if you’ve actually been wearing those heels all night… you don’t know what you’re missing! I have not tried these on yet, but they come in a ton of cute styles that you might just want to wear all the time.

After Party Gold After Party Black Sandal After Party Purple

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