The world lost a great icon yesterday April 21, a man of mystery and immeasurable impact on the world of entertainment and fashion. The artist known as Prince died prematurely at the age of 57, who will forever be in our memories as one of the greatest who did it best…rocking some of the best crafted shoes on and of stage! And yes, most of them were actually heels! Now that’s one man that some women can’t even hold a candle to. When it comes to music and fashion…no one else did it better than him. He was a great inspiration for many young and old around the world. He will surely be missed. We celebrate his very short but well lived life with some of the images featured below. Prince, we thank you so much for all you have done for all of us musically and in fashion. RIP brother.
With spring comes the bridal season, so we’re offering you some useful insights into the kind of shoes that a lady …gentlemen must have for a destination wedding: the shoes to pack, the ones to wear and so on. Whether you’re having a destination wedding or a simple registrar’s ceremony, we’re taking the opportunity to wish all the brides to be out there a wonderful, wonderful wedding day and a blissfully happy life thereafter!
This issue introduces Harriet Wilde, a coveted label of exquisite bridal shoes; veritable confections that are going to want to make you get married right now or perhaps repeat your vows!
Plus, ethical vegan shoes! Looking for sustainable shoes crafted from non-animal materials, think Mink Shoes! Find out more about Rebecca Mink and her line of vegan shoes and read her unique and compelling story.
One not to be missed… Vanessa Noel, the renowned luxury shoe designer, businesswoman and philanthropist. Her unique shoes, the way she draws on her architecture background to create her shoes and the way she works closely with Italian tanneries to create unique finishes such as 24 karat gold covered alligator and glow in the dark python are bound to make fascinating reading for all our lovely readers out there.
And so much more!
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The Sneakerhead Culture
High-end designer pumps to some of us are like special edition kicks to sneakerhead’s: an addiction for the love of shoes. Imagine storage closets, rooms or even basements filled with a massive collection of Nikes, Jordans, Adidas, Converse, and et.al. Sneakers with original boxes reign supreme. These are not your average, every day sneakers that you wear running around the block or to the gym with your sweats. These have to match a cutting-edge outfit from head to toe, color for color, and kept in pristine condition.
You’ve seen them at weddings worn by the bridal party and red carpet events worn by famous high profile sneakerheads like Spike Lee, Pharrell and Fat Joe. Or even in bridal Trash The Dress photo shoots, as shown here with my extremely rare 1988 Vintage Nike sneakers. Maybe you have seen women wear them to create a contrasting, fashion-forward look with their dress. Who could forget the episode of Entourage with Turtle and DJ AM fighting for the last pair of Fukijamas. This is the sneakerhead culture of today.
The game started with Adidas and Nike running the show. Spike Lee Mars Blackmon in an iconic moment of the Nike Swoosh, during his film She’s Gotta Have It in 1986. Bob Marley with his famous Adidas shot in the woods in 1976. The Run DMC group rapped their way to an endorsement deal with the song My Adidas in 1986 and eventually into their own footwear line too. Marty McFly rocked the Nike Air Mag during Back to the Future: Part II in 1989, which was finally created and released in 2011. Highest charity auction ended at $37,500; with all proceeds donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
In the more recent years, the sneakerhead scene went viral. Causing mass hysteria from the casual collector to the extreme collector with 500 pairs and counting. Just ten years ago, you could walk into a mom and pop shop or Niketown store, buy a few pairs and be home within hours. Now, serious fanatics camp out on the sidewalks and streets [literally with tents] for two to three days before a release, just to get one or two pairs, depending on the limit. Remember the Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan” collection around the holidays? Mad frenzy getting online and in stores to score a pair!
Artist collaborations release every few months, some made up to only 100 to 1000 pairs. Shoes are embellished with vibrant colors, variety of material, artwork, and maybe an embroidered symbol on the outer rear side. Sneaker companies collaborated with designer companies: Nike Air for Cole Haan, John Varvatos for Converse, Adidas Y-3 x MOMO and Alexander McQueen for Puma. The Air Jordan brand released retroed versions of Michael Jordan’s original line and, like always, sold out within hours. This left thousands of his fans disappointed and turning to other sources to obtain a pair [or five]. Scouring eBay for the lowest prices, Facebook or NikeTalk friends for extra pairs, going to the nearest Flight Club… The hunt begins.
A limited edition shoe value can range anywhere from $200 to $20,000. The main rule of thumb: Buy two or more, rock one and keep the rest brand new, dead stock. Maybe even save just one for a special occasion. Like art and real estate, the value increases throughout the years, so keeping your 1985 Michael Jordan I Originals, brand new in box, can buy you a new car in 2012. On the other hand, there are people willing to sell their own cars for a few pairs of Galaxy Foamposites. Stark collectors will give anything for their latest holy grail.
The sneakerhead culture has rapidly evolved over the decades, but one thing goes unchanged, collectors will remain dedicated to the game. So next time you buy a niche-like sneaker or find one deep in your closet, research before wearing it to the park. You may be able to trade them for a coveted Christian Louboutin in a few years.
Notably famous releases:
- Nike Air Force II Low: Espo Signed Artist Series (2004). Retail value: $150 | Resell value: $950
- Air Jordan XI & VI Retro: Defining Moments Pack (2006). Retail value: $590 | Resell value: $1,400
- Nike Dunk High: Wu-Tang Clan (1999). Retail value: N/A | Resell value: $5,000
- Nike Dunk Low Pro SB: Supreme/Black Cement (2002). Retail value: $150 | Resell value: $1,000
- All dead stock in a sneakerhead’s home: NOT FOR SALE
An exclusive by Heather Lascano, first published in the July-Sept 2012 edition of Shoeholics magazine. All rights reserved
Strassing And All That Jazz
If you haven’t heard about Strassing yet, you haven’t explored a whole world of possibilities of shoe transformation, enhancement and adornment.
Strass and Strassing
Going to the dictionary definition, strass refers to flint glass with a high lead content that is used to imitate precious stones. It is also a synonym for ‘rhinestone’ taking the name from its inventor Georg Friedrich Strass. Now the concept of strass has evolved into ‘strassing’, which is the use of Swarovski crystals to beautify shoes.
Increasingly those who love their shoes and want to own a beautiful, one of a kind pair are using crystal embellishments to make a shoe statement like no other. It is about wearing a work of art, of upping the intrinsic worth of a shoe not just because of how stunningly they can be transformed but also because of having added to the shoes, crystals that are highly valuable by themselves.
The options and the permutations and combinations that can be achieved are literally limitless. The options in terms of the kind of shoes used, the sort of heels they have, their color and their material provide a sort of canvass on which the artist is to paint a masterpiece.
Then, using different gluing techniques and picking from a mind boggling variety of stunning stones: a wide selection in terms of color, size and brilliance, the crystals, which add sparkle, definition and texture; transform a mere shoe into a veritable work of art that spells luxury and class!
Beads, flat backs, rounded stones, sew on stones, buttons, crystal pearls, metal trimmings, crystal fabric, crystal transfers can all create stunning effects.
It is possible to add crystals to the entire shoe or to just a part of the shoe to create interesting shades and contrasts.
Strassing with crystals
Shoe collectors know all about the legend of Christian Louboutin and his resolve to make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can. Principally responsible for the return of the stiletto in the 1990’s and the 2000s, he has brought us the epitome of the dress shoe, replete with bows, feathers, bejeweled straps, and stunning patent leather finishes.
The luxury and glamour that are associated with Louboutin’s designs lend themselves naturally to strassing or the crystallizing process with fabulous results. This is not to say that only Louboutin’s designs will work for strassing; far from it.
It is good quality shoes – peep toes, pumps and any other suitable style – that is the requirement. Quality raw materials, sound construction and exquisite design all go into making that quality shoe. It doesn’t even have to be a brand new shoe; pre-owned, high-end shoes will work just as well for strassing.
The surface of the shoe matters for how successful the strassing will be. Leather and satin finishes work very well and these can also be painted to a base shade identical to or close to the crystal colors that one may want.
An increasing number of professionals and DIY enthusiasts, that’s who! You just have to visit an online forum or two like purseblog.com to know how much of a rage strassing is! Forum commentators discuss the type of shoes that form the base of their project, the type of crystals they use and how many will be required given the size, the type of gluing process they use (some use Barge Cement some use Gem-tac glue), and the amount of time the entire project will take.
Strassers offer each other tips and pointers for their projects and also help by posting pictures of the work in progress and finally the finished project. Discussions also involve the process of using combinations of different sizes of crystals: using smaller sized crystals to fill in any of the gaps left over by the larger ones.
A forum such as weddingbee.com also has threads dedicated to DIY strassing projects since many brides to be, want that very special shoe for that very special day. The best deals for buying the crystals and where to source them from are other topics of discussion on these forums.
And it isn’t just the girls either who are strassing and getting a kick out of their sparkly shoes. Guys are doing it too! Mark MacKillop, singer, actor, model and dancer is also a shoe lover. He was featured in the April-June 2012 edition in one of his perfectly self-strassed shoes. Not only does he enjoy high heeled shoes (and a growing tribe of men do this), he successfully strassed thousands of dollars worth of Swarovski crystals on to a pair of gray Oxfords from Kenneth Cole. Like any woman would, he enjoys making an entrance as well; with all eyes on him in those stunning footwear creations that are the result of his own toil!
Strassing can be time consuming and can require a lot of skills. So for those of you who fear soiling or spoiling expensive shoes with clumsy attempts and glue stains, there is always an option to submit the pair to professionals to let them do all the work. You have to be prepared to brave the exuberant cost in the thousands of dollars to cover time, labor and cost of materials. Needless to say, you can always settle for the retail store versions for just about the same price, also in the thousands of dollars. To self-strass is a matter of time consumption; DIY derives a custom-made color theme versus retail cost for an already made color theme dictated by the designer for the season.
If opting to brave the odds with the DIY route, professionals do point out that the shoe surfaces that work best for strassing are suede, satin, calfskin/nappa or laminato leather and that the laminato leather works best because the sheen of the shoe disguises the glue perfectly. Patent leather is unable to absorb glue and so is not advisable.
Several channels on YouTube offers glimpses of stunning strassing projects, using principally, shoes from Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianmarco Lorenzi and Giuseppe Zanotti pairs. Again it isn’t just the women who look to add sparkles to their collection, men also realize the amazing things that strassing can do to their shoes. Strassing is also a great way to give an old pair a “face lift” from the old worn out form it had been before. So consider this before you toss out an old favored pair.
Strassing is something that you can do or get done to your prized shoes in order that you can fall in love with them…. All over again!
Featured shoes in the article: A classic Yves Saint Laurent Tribtoo suede pumps every inch of the surface embellished entirely, in various sizes, with genuine Swarovski crystals. Strassing and photo by Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director Tinu, which she completed in between work deadlines and daily work schedules. Total time of completion of a full pair, 68 hours! We really don’t know how she does it!
An exclusive by Denise Waller, first published in the July-Sept 2012 edition of Shoeholics magazine. All rights reserved
Hollywood heavyweights and starlights celebrate the movie industry today at the Oscars. The coveted red carpet fashion did not fail to glitter and dazzle as we’ve all come to expect on a yearly basis. On that note, here are some of our favorites!
The Grammy Awards brought out the best and some worst dressed in Hollywood. Fret not, here are some of our favorites from the biggest night in the music industry. Many held their own on the coveted red carpet!
This festive New Year season, we’re exploring Shoeholism of a different variety. Although we adore our high heels, ballet flats can be comfy, classy and a whole lot. These are like the poor cousins of their glamorous counterparts and we tend to give them short shift for the most part, but let’s remember that there can be such a thing as being a fashion victim!
In this edition you get to meet a Tanya Heath, the inventor of ‘Transformer’ shoes. These are the shoes that turn into flats when you want, low heels and then into high heels in a trice. Get ready to be amazed!
We’re also proud to feature Brian Boye, Executive Fashion Director for Men’s Health magazine, style icon and of course a Shoeholic! He offers some valuable men’s shoe & style tips and shares some of his exciting lifestyle with us.
The cover story: the Australian fashion illustrator & artist Kerrie Hess and her capsule collection of timeless classics of ballet flats.
We also thought to address the rather serious issue of possible problems that high heels can and sometimes do cause. Our comparative piece about the pros and cons of high heels versus flats should be insightful, we hope.
On giving back, we recently chanced upon a truly inspiring shoe story; that of the When In Need foundation (WIN) and their various charitable endeavors including putting shoes on the feet of underprivileged African kids. Chetachi Nwoga-Ecton and her team at the WIN foundation recognize the fact that lack of shoes could impede a child’s progress and access to education; which is why the foundations outreach program provides shoes among other essential supplies to most needy.
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Just in time for the holidays! Christiana Care Health System’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is providing new shoes, socks and foot exams for free to nearly 100 people — many of them homeless — on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, a homeless shelter in Wilmington. The event is part of a campaign by a national organization known as Our Hearts to Your Soles, whose mission is to provide indigent people with shoes and free foot examinations.
Soles4Souls and Red Wing Shoes will donate a total of 100 pairs of new shoes through the organization, and Independence Prosthetics-Orthotics, Inc. will donate nearly two dozen pairs of specialty shoes for people with advanced diabetic foot needs. In addition, the nonprofit Dignity U Wear will donate 200 pairs of socks to homeless people during the event.
Paul Kupcha, M.D., section chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Christiana Care and an orthopaedic surgeon, is the local coordinator for the event. Dr. Kupcha said that foot health provides a clue to a person’s overall health. Joint stiffness, for example, can indicate arthritis; tingling and numbness can be connected to diabetes; swelling can indicate high blood pressure or diseases of the heart and kidneys.
Brian Galinat, M.D., MBA, chair of Christiana Care’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Christiana Care orthopaedic surgeon Robert Steele, M.D., also will provide free exams to homeless people during the event. Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists will set up the event and staff it with volunteers.
“By providing our neighbors who are homeless with shoes, we help them get more physical activity and help protect them from frostbite,” said Dr. Kupcha, who has volunteered with Our Hearts to Your Soles for eight years. “We also examine the feet of each individual and care for them if they suffer from chronic foot-related problems.”
Hypertension, respiratory illness and foot problems are the three most common health issues that the homeless face, says Rev. Tom Laymon, executive director of the Sunday Breakfast Mission.
“People who are homeless largely have to walk everywhere they go which means that their feet are taking a greater beating than the rest of us,” Laymon said. “The ability for them to get shoes that fit and see a doctor is incredibly meaningful to them. Like putting new tires on a car, you’re retreading them in a lot of ways by giving them shoes and foot care.”
Sizzling looks at the American Music Awards! Tough to pick a favorite. Perhaps you might have a few favorite of your own from our selected red carpet looks featured below. Not a bad look in the house! Kudos to everyone!
Perhaps it’s time to consider a more “toe securing” design in her line of shoe designs.
According to the dailymail: She’s made millions with her successful shoe range. But it seems Jessica Simpson needs to design herself some biger sandals.
The reality star turned designer wore some obviously too small sandals for her night out on Saturday in New York City, with her toes falling over the edges in an unflattering sight.
The singer’s unfortunate toe slip rather ruined her sexy look during her date with husband Eric Johnson.