Coming off a very strong 2010, this year's event will focus on providing brands and retailers with the tools needed for continued growth across channels and across the globe. The Footwear News CEO Summit will combine high-profile keynote presentations with intensive interactive working sessions and a strong focus on key industry issues including:
* The latest on the international front
* The return of luxury
* Developing multi-brand strategies
* What department store merchandise managers really want
* Getting digital (including social media) right
In the fall of 2006, New York City-based footwear designer Alejandro Ingelmo launched his first women's shoe collection. Born and raised in Miami and educated at Parsons The New School for Design, his signature style combines the sexy allure of his Cuban heritage with a New York edge.
Mr. Ingelmo's collection is carried internationally by esteemed retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jeffrey,
Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Luisa Via Roma, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Based on the success of his women's line, Mr. Ingelmo added a men's collection of luxury trainers and dress shoes to his portfolio for the spring/summer 2007 season. Affectionately dubbed "AI's," the men's collection developed a cult following among celebrities including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.
Mr. Ingelmo opened his first boutique in the SoHo neighborhood of New York in September, 2010. A fourth-generation shoemaker, he was inspired by the shoe store his grandfather owned in Cuba. Mr. Ingelmo was one of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Vogue Fashion Fund Top Ten candidates in 2008 and in 2009 was a CFDA nominee for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design.
An alumnus of prestigious design schools Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers, Kirkwood's eponymous collection launched in spring 2005.
The collection was comprised of architecturally inspired pieces with a blend of genres subverting the relationship between femininity and modernity. This won Kirkwood the attention of Grace Jones and Cecilia Dean of celebrated art-house publication Visionaire as well as a design stint at Chloé. Craftsmanship plays an integral role in every collection. It is this perfection of craftsmanship itself that has a stylistic value highlighted by the use of geometric forms and strong clean lines, all inspired by structural shapes. The shoes are free of excessive decorative elements, the focus always being on innovation of form.
Seasonal trends appear in Kirkwood's work unintentionally and are always at the zeitgeist rather than following or emulating it. SS 08's collection is full of signature vertiginous heels either in a stiletto pump with its cone heel slimmed down to give a fervent look, or for maximum impact, in extended cigarette heels with a backwards-slanted platform on the sole. Wedges are open-toed, covered with laser cut mirrored leather and uppers of crinkle patent or rubberized suede. Almond-toed lizard strappy sling-backs have large mirror-Perspex buckles giving them a fresh twist. The collection has already won him the prestigious AltaRoma Vogue Italia award for accessories design in July and the commendation of American Vogue's Editor at Large André Leon-Talley.
Kirkwood has collaborated with Swarovski resulting in a sub-collection of black evening shoes, all featuring a sliced into heel with a large black sphere-cut crystal suspended in it. A black fabric formed of 100s of mini Swarovski crystals contrasts with lizard and satin. An open-toed, cigarette-heeled sling back platform features a new technique of slicing into the leather at the vamp with a metallic insert, finished with intricate stitching, giving a fan-like effect which will be featured in an upcoming Swarovski exhibition in London.
The SS08 collection can be found at leading retailers worldwide including: Dover Street Market, Browns, Harvey Nichols, On Pedder, Coccodrillo, Le Bon Marche, Via Bus Stop, Maxfield, Podium and select others.
Jerome C. Rousseau
Jerome C. Rousseau launched his eponymous label with the Fall 2008 collection. His distinctive creations have been extensively featured in Vogue, Elle, Bazaar, Style.com and other publications worldwide. Celebrities wearing the label include Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Stewart, Katie Holmes, Drew Barrymore, January Jones, Olivia Wilde, Nicole Richie and others.
In July 2010, the label was awarded the prestigious "Who Is On Next" accessories prize by Vogue Italia. The label also recently created the "Quorra" sandal for the Tron: Legacy film, in collaboration with Disney.
Rousseau finessed his design skills for ten years in London and Los Angeles, where he worked alongside Matthew Williamson, Isabella Fiore, John Richmond and John Rocha. He had previously built a strong technical knowledge in footwear design at London's Cordwainers College, famous for its many reputed alumni including Jimmy Choo and others.
Modern art, European design, pop culture and nightlife are some of Rousseau's inspirations. "I initially think in terms of shape, silhouette and structure when I design. It's later on that I bring fashion in the equation."
Born in Quebec, his interest for design was shaped through art and music. "I started drawing shoes as a teenager after watching a Deee-Lite videoclip. I was influenced by its unique styling, but it was the overstated retro footwear that first caught my attention."
Jerome C. Rousseau footwear is available at highly reputed retailers worldwide, including Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols, Browns, Le Bon Marche, Holt Renfrew, Dover Street Market and others. The Jerome C. Rousseau footwear is expertly handcrafted in Italy.
Yeardley Smith is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Marchez Vous YS.