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CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER anashct!!

WIN these Asher wedges by Matisse!

Remember these awesome shoes from last week’s blog about espadrille trends for Spring? Well, how would you like to win a pair of these wedges? Thanks to Matisse, who are donating a pair for the contest, you’ve got your wish!

We’re giving away 1 pair of the Asher style endless espadrille wedge sandals (in your size) to 1 lucky winner.

To enter to win, there are only 3 steps:

1. Follow NYShoeSpy on Twitter (see handy link in the upper left corner of the blog)
2. Tweet an random awesome thing you saw today (don’t forget to include @NYShoeSpy in your tweet)
3. Leave a comment here on this blog telling me which of the shoes you own is your absolute favorite pair and why.

Remember to leave your twitter name or a valid email when you comment so I can contact you if you win.

I will use a random number generator to pick the winner on Sunday, April 3 so you have until midnight Friday, April 1 to enter (not an April Fools prank, I promise).

Good Luck! And thanks again to Matisse and SnL Communications!

Let’s start off with Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide (March 2011) as an intro. They list these shoes to add to your warmer weather wardrobe: wood platforms, jeweled slingbacks, bold loafers (as in bold colors), platform pumps, flat espadrilles, sliver-wedge sandals, pointy-toe slingbacks and cork wedges, followed by 2 strap sandals (on strap around the ankle and one over the toes) as their shoe-of-the-month in the April 2011 issue.

My thoughts: The wood platforms, cork wedges and flat espadrilles are pretty standard, every-spring-they’re-for-sale shoes (although I realize there’s a 70s vibe going around which is making shoe stores a little extra wood heavy). And I’m going to skeptically say I’ll stay on the lookout for someone wearing jeweled slingbacks as daywear in NYC. I also doubt you’ll see many people in bright loafers this spring/summer, especially with wide-leg trousers and maxi skirts trending now (can’t really wear loafers with those). But, I think the pointy-toe slingbacks, sliver-wedge sandals and 2 strap sandals are all spot-on. The sliver-wedge sandals are a nice progression of winter’s version popularized by Loeffler Randall’s sliver-boots. And I think pointy-toes will become more and more plentiful as the year progresses.

But I’ve also spotted a few other (more?) interesting spring shoe trends popping up and they actually all involve espadrilles!

First, I’ve noticed espadrilles with frayed straps. These are definitely more for your casual days but hey, if you already have a pair of strappy canvas wedges, don’t be afraid to dip into D.I.Y and rough them up a bit ;). And if you prefer the new versions, below Steve Madden, Coconuts and others have done the distressing for you.

Second, I’m seeing a lot of espadrille heels that continue up the ankle to form the heel cup; I’m calling them endless espadrilles. These shoes are AMAZING because when they’re on, at first glance you look like you might be wearing impossibly tall heels.  They’re also especially nice because the style could hide a much lower heel like the 2.5 inch (I know!) version by Sam Edelman. And as a side note – yep, that brand in row 5 is Hunter of rainboot fame, apparently making some leather heels now.

Honorable mention goes to espadrilles that do not have covered ankles but instead feature an extra tall side portion or “cut-out” ankle strap that creates a similar illusion. Surprisingly, I found a nice example of these shoes at Old Navy which are a great option if you’re on a budget.

I still have one more trend for you further below, but for now, some picture proof!

FRAYED EDGES

Coconuts Avery

Bettye Muller Saffron

Steve Madden Fraid

ENDLESS ESPADRILLE HEELS

Matisse Asher

BCBGMAXAZRIA Malaga

Sam Edelman Leroy

Enzo Angiolini Ramie

Enzo Angiolini Romario

Hunter Anegada

HONORABLE MENTION

Old Navy Espadrille Wedges

Corso Como Decoy

Boutique 9 Illy

Not Too Coy Lydia

And last I’ve collected some irregular espadrille combos. Brands like Tory Burch and 3.1 Phillip Lim are marrying espadrille soles with a chukka or desert boot upper. This is probably best with a canvas boot and an excellent option when we’ve got those New York days where it’s warm for just a few hours in the afternoon sunshine and then you’ve got to put your jacket back on (like today!).

A few other brands, like Jeffrey Campbell and Prada, decided to add in an espadrille layer to a shoe that normally wouldn’t have it. This might technically shorten the seasonally appropriate lifespan of the shoes, but fashion rules are made to be broken. However, I’m not sure we should even call them espadrilles, and at the same time, I don’t think we can leave that out – it’s pretty distinctive. How about Espamaybelles? (I’ll break that down: espa-maybe-lles…? ok, well, I love it, haha).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Happy shopping all! And if you spot any other crazy espadrille hybrids, let me know.

Tory Burch Desert Bootie Espadrille

3.1 Phillip Lim lace up espadrille

Prada Lace-Up Cutout Wedge

Jeffrey Campbell Mary ESP

Mark & James Magnolia

Chinese Laundry Dragonfly

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 😉

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 😉

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

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.”

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).

avatarIf you’re waiting til the last minute to do your Spring shoe shopping since it’s probably the best way to get the lowest sale prices (I’m with you), you might also be looking for a refresher course in Spring trends to keep an eye out for. I sure was, (it’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re watching Fall 09 previews)… so I made a list to share! It’s also interesting to see what trends are in full swing and which (predicted by winter writers) are already in fizzle mode. Let’s begin, there’s lots to see!

First I’ll go to Lucky Magazine, who I find to be an excellent authority on all (wearable) trendy business. Their Spring Shoe Guide in the March 09 issue listed espadrille wedges, fringe sandals, wood platforms, round toe pumps, open-toe flats, sliver-wedge sandals, spring boots (these have a “lower, leg flashing shape”) and platform sandals as the trendiest of the trends.  The April and May issues also added canvas tennis shoes and rope sandals, respectively.

Topshop Lattice caged platforms

Love the Off-White Base of these Caged Platforms

Sam Edelman Bell Boot

These Lilac Perforated Suede Boots are Obviously Not for Winter

Keep Ray Potes Homer sneakers

Cute Acid Wash Canvas Tennies

The espadrille wedges were a safe bet for spring (I don’t know when they have not been an essential spring/summer shoe) as were the round toe pumps (pointy toes are generally a winter style since they look best with long pants). The wood platforms and platform sandals were also fairly basic picks considering the boho feeling wafting around, a feeling which was only enhanced by the recession (damn the man, man). But don’t let that underscore the fact that platforms were mentioned twice! Make yourself taller, get a pair! I’ve also noticed that many stores are only stocking one or two fringy styles in their whole inventory, so don’t settle unless you really love them, and the rope sandals were in last year’s lists too – dig through your closet for any lost pairs you forgot about.

As for the rest of Lucky’s picks, I’m especially taking notice of the spring boots (these are number one on my list!), the sliver wedge sandals (a predictable continuation from the same heel featured on many boots this winter – iconically the Loeffler Randall mini wedge knee boots) and the canvas lace-up shoes (noticeably around this past fall in leather versions).

Keds Champion 2k white

The Original Basic Canvas Sneakers

I love this great color in slouchy pull-on boots

A Great Color for Slouchy Pull-On Frye's

Brian Atwood Ontorio tie dye boots

Tie-dyed Soft Suede Boots

Next on the list of fashion experts is Style.com who I love for including actual runway shots for support. Style.com has listed their top Spring 2009 trends as catchy headlines (and they’re referring to clothing trends too), so I’ll interpret them as relating to shoes for you (click the previous link to look for yourself). The Depression Chic trend means looking to the past for inspiration- the eras designers picked from ranged broadly, so take your pick. Your Geometry Lesson is to look for big shapes and 3D effects like pleated ruffles (take a look at these heels too for less!). Goddess Worship, unsurprisingly, means you’ll see wrap sandals, open platforms and gladiators, perfect for the omnipotent. And Marrakech Express (think Moroccan influences) leans towards beading detail and strappy sandals that look great with silk jumpsuits and caftans. Style.com also added Sporting Goods to their list but they certainly did not mean basic trainers; designers were pairing sporty styles on top with fierce platforms and heels, at the very least a high heel sneaker pump. Last, the Trash and Vaudeville trend means you should be thinking a little bit 80s. Look for peeps of neon color, studs, deconstruction and those warm-weather boots.

These remind me of a neon fanny pack I once loved

These remind me of a neon fanny pack I once loved

Report Chanya wrap sandals

Moroccan beaded wrap sandals

Nanette Lepore Savage Lover sandal

See the pink snakeskin and teal on the heel!?

All the rest of the sources I consulted agree with the above trends with a few exceptions. Many, including Dannielle Kyrillos from Daily Candy, had COLOR in their lists of spring essentials (not restricted to colors just for the 80s effect) and Glamour Magazine also added zipper accents which I give them a virtual high-five for! (and my examples of which are all… black… listen people, I gave you enough color above ;)). Happy shopping!

Pour La Victoire Ella

Betseyville Peach Peep-Toe Flat L.A.M.B. Selene

avatarAs American Airlines announces that they are going to start charging for all checked luggage and plane ticket prices spike across the board to cover rising fuel prices, you might be feeling that your future summer plans are about to fly out the window without you. Don’t worry, summer does not have to be spent next to the waving ribbons on your grandma’s window-mounted air conditioner.

Many travel sites are touting excellent options that miraculously avoid airfare to Europe (and with the dollar weak on top of all this, it may be a blessing in disguise). A variety of cruise ships dock along both the east or west coasts which means a shorter and less expensive flight than going anywhere across the ocean directly. Also many cruises are all-inclusive, which is a great way to stretch your dollar as well as more transit fun than being crowded into a germ-filled airplane with no leg room. 

Unlike boats requiring traditional deck shoes, cruise ships mean your feet don’t even have to get close to water if you don’t want them to. So bring on the summer styles! Most ships (and the ports you dock at) will also have ample opportunities to dress up too, so don’t forget about the heels (my favorite for beachy lo-cals are always espadrilles).

The trend-setters in NYC, now vacationing all over the world, are wearing strappy gladiator styles (like my first pick below which is of the cool, studded variety) and flip flops with medallion embellishments like these pretty gold ones by DKNY (no one I’ve read has printed on this trend much, surprisingly, but you’ll see it everywhere). One trend that people have been talking about (forever) are metallic colors and there is no better way to wear it than with summer-bronzed skin (or super-pale-covered-in-sunscreen skin works too!). These Fornarina heels have a great metallic gold color and I really dig the braided straps and wooden sole.

Via Spiga Wint DKNY Fornarina Sand

Though hot right now, sometimes gladiator styles can be a little too high-drama for many women. But there are always ways of incorporating any trend into anyone’s wardrobe (give me a challenge!): this simplistic version in black in my second row are killer on-trend now and yet won’t look like last season’s garbage for many summers to come.  On the other end of the spectrum is a trend that you might consider timeless or just something to try for a season (or never): the Birkenstock style. If you love it, you might die for the neon green Michael Kors below. But, like it or not, I’d expect to see at least one or two of these cushy, foot-molding soles in your local trendy stores next summer, so get ready. Philip Lim may even be credited with starting the trend.

And if you don’t plan on vacationing this summer? Throw away your dirty old flip flops from last year and treat yourself to a new pair with a little dressy spunk to them. My last selection by Dr. Scholl’s have your basic flip flop comfort and are begging for a luau (ok, backyard bbq!). Hey, your shoes might just inspire you to build your own Hawaiian island retreat at home (don’t forget a blender and some coconut shells for the pina coladas).

Steve Madden Signature Bele KORS Michael Kors Grand Pri Dr. Scholl's Lyric

Happy Summer planning! Summer officially begins June 21st.
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avatarNatalie Portman has collaborated with Te Casan to design a collection of limited edition vegan heels and flats.  Since only 100 will be sold in each style and color and they’re pretty well priced for being limited edition ($185 to $275) and the website’s allowing a pre-order… well,  my size was already sold out.  So, to make myself feel better, I searched for some man-made shoe alternatives (I’m not vegan, but I totally support the lifestyle).  Save the leather supplying cows! Ok, all the cows. I mean, all animals everywhere!

Rampage Juicy Style and Co Eliza
Steve Madden Pleatt Calivin Klein Ella

Left to Right: Rampage metallic brown Juicy pumps, Style&Co teal Eliza satin heels, Steve Madden bone white Pleatt flat boots, Calvin Klein silver Ella espadrilles.

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