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26-03-2008
  1
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Shoes replace bags as hottest fashion item- The observer article
Shoes replace bags as hottest fashion item



Designers name their creations after celebrities to cash in on growing demand for chic footwear

Alice Fisher, Style Correspondent
Sunday March 16, 2008
The Observer

It's goodbye to the Roxanne and the Giselle and hello to the Suri and the Amy: 'it-shoes' are about to replace 'it-bags'.The sorts of unusual designs and materials associated lately with handbags are being emulated this season in footwear, with innovative designs such as backward heels from Marc Jacobs and knee-high gladiator sandals by Chanel. It is being predicted that women will soon be investing in fewer but more expensive shoes; and there is a growing trend to name shoes after celebrities, just as Luella Bartley named her tote after the supermodel Giselle.

Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli has made the Victoria shoe in honour of Mrs Beckham; Calvin Klein's Suri shares a name with Tom Cruise's daughter; and the Amy shoe - a favourite of Ms Winehouse - has helped to launch Jonathan Kelsey's label. 'I wanted to name my shoes,' said Kelsey, 'and as it was my first collection I named everything with the letter A. I chose the names of girls who I wanted to wear them - and Amy wore them to death.'

Kelsey has also just shown his first shoe collection for Mulberry - a sign that the British brand synonymous with 'it-bags' is diversifying into shoes. 'They've wanted to do shoes for a while,' said Kelsey, 'and they've picked up quickly on what's going on within the industry. They want to do with shoes what they've done with bags.'


Certain 'it-shoes', such as the Tribute stiletto by Yves Saint Laurent, which has been worn by Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez, are selling out fast. Department store Harvey Nichols reports a 15 per cent rise in shoe sales this season and a higher demand for catwalk heels - the towering shoes which models wear in the fashion shows - than 'selling' heels, the shorter, tamer versions normally sold in stores. 'Most of the shoes we're selling have 140mm heels,' says Joanna Jeffreys of Harvey Nichols. 'Two seasons ago, 100mm seemed high. And people are buying into new names. We've stocked Alejandro Ingelmo's Terminator. It's 140mm high, it's fierce, and we've only got one pair left.'


A survey by Mintel last week forecast an 18 per cent fall in handbag sales, which has been the fastest-growing accessories sector of recent years. It also predicted that, while women are going to buy 7 per cent fewer pairs of shoes annually over the next five years, more shoppers will invest in more expensive footwear.


Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Ten and a self-confessed 'shoe pig', is impatiently awaiting the arrival in-store of this season's Balenciaga gladiator sandals. She says that 'it-bags' became too linked to particular seasons, so that for their hefty price tags they had limited use. 'Shoes are less of an investment than a 2,000 bag that is worn by every celebrity,' she said.


Austyn Mayfield, in-house fashion expert at website Shoetube, where women can post shoe videos and blogs, said: 'Instead of spending so much money on a single patent tote or exotic skin clutch, a girl can take the same money and invest in several pairs of shoes.'


But for all fashion's enthusiasm for the 'it-shoe', will it ever dominate like the 'it-bag'? 'I think it will pan out differently to the it-bag trend,' says Kelsey. 'Not everyone can wear a 12cm platform. As a designer, you have to offer the shoe in varying heights and formats; there'll have to be a broader spectrum of styles. There are more things to take into consideration - all the decoration will have to be different. The challenge is going to be finding the right balance.'


A quick survey of Friday afternoon shoppers in Selfridges in London's Oxford Street found that the public is yet to be convinced. One shopper admiring a Marc Jacobs Serafima bag said: 'I used to buy good shoes; now I buy good bags. They make me feel more confident.'


A woman browsing in the shoe department admitted that the new season shoes 'are very pretty, but if I had to make a choice I'd spend money on a bag'. Another, who was inspecting this season's Prada collection, also said she opted for bags over shoes. She's not tempted by the 'it-shoes'? 'Not with my calves, dear.'


Last edited by fashionista-ta; 26-03-2008 at 10:24 AM. Reason: removing HTML gunk
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26-03-2008
  2
Power to the 99%
 
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It's always been about shoes for me I must say, though, that I don't think I can go higher than 100mm. I have to be able to walk--I have places to go, I'm not a geisha ...

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26-03-2008
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My issue has always been that while designer shoes are cheaper than bags they receive a lot more wear and tear...bags can last for years but shoes can be worn out after a season.

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26-03-2008
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^ The only shoes I wear out after a season are espadrilles ... and our spring/summer is ~9 months long.

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26-03-2008
  5
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I meant to put this in shop til you drop.

Hebden you have a point I would never spend as much on a pair of shoes than a bag, it has to be about half, as they wear out easily.

I'm not one for taking my shoes to the cobbler.

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26-03-2008
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^ I was thinking maybe Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I do pay as much for shoes as bags, but I'm also paying less for bags than those mentioned in this article :p I also do take things to the shoe repair, but I consider whether it's worth it first. However--shoe repairs, even from the best place in town (and I make sure I go to a good one) are super cheap compared to shoes.

I just discarded the black ballets I've been wearing all winter, as one of the insoles and the sole of the other shoe are both showing wear, and there's a bit of cracking (only visible to me :p) on the uppers. I wear heel caps out all the time--and recently replaced them on these black shoes. But these shoes are probably about 10 or more years old--great quality from Joan & David before whatever happened to the company happened I should mention that my Bottega shoes came with a spare set of heel caps--first pair I've ever gotten. They clearly are expecting you to get your money's worth

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26-03-2008
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All this shoes talks makes me want to watch a certain YouTube. But, it's about time. Shoes > Bags.

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26-03-2008
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I purchase far fewer bags than I do shoes. I dont change my bag everyday or even every month but its very rare that I wear the same shoes two days in a row, sometimes only once a week or once a month. interesting though most of my bags are by the same designer as my shoes are, I guess I just like their work.

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26-03-2008
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Shoes are much more important to me than bags. While you are wearing the shoes all the time, you put the bag down when arrived at work for example.

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26-03-2008
  10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyme View Post
I purchase far fewer bags than I do shoes. I dont change my bag everyday or even every month but its very rare that I wear the same shoes two days in a row, sometimes only once a week or once a month. interesting though most of my bags are by the same designer as my shoes are, I guess I just like their work.
That's interesting ... mine are different. I like Kate Spade & Michael Michael Kors bags. Multiple bags from each, but I've never owned shoes from either of them.

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26-03-2008
  11
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Shoes don't just complete an outfit and can potentially transform your look into something amazing- it changes your posture, add a certain attitude to your walk and just improves your profile overall (when the shoes are good).

I'm constantly toting around the same bag (Balenciaga Part Time) because I find it to be the perfect size for me plus I'm often too lazy to transfer my belongings, though I change with season (black = F/W and blue = S/S).

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26-03-2008
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^ Same here. I find myself carrying the same bag more often then wearing the same shoes.

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26-03-2008
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^ I literally switch bags twice a year, spring and fall. There are many ways in which my life is not simple ... I find this a good area to simplify

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26-03-2008
  14
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I really don't think shoes will replace bags as the "it" item for several reasons:
1) You can carry a great bag for a decade but most shoes, having been worn 10 times don't look their best.
2) Designer shoes tend to wear out faster, I find, because they are more delicate.
3) Not everyone has a lifestyle that would allow them to wear those sculptured designer footwear most of the time. How many people you know wear 4 inch stilletos to work? You can take a bag anywhere.
4) A bag can be used and sold on, as for second-hand shoes... I find it a bit gross.

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30-03-2008
  15
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http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html....html#section1

New York Times' Bill Cunningham on this trend, with an audio slideshow of amazing shoes!

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