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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Springtime for Italy, but some Pizza

Following a week straight of rain and damp weather, things are looking up in Florence. Lori is en route to Milan for the trade shows, spending a few well-deserved weeks in Tuscany with friends and family. This week she met up with perennial gay crush Mauricio Celin of Nicole in Bologna for a day of lunch and shopping.

Shopping, unfortunately, seems to be hard to come by this season. With Italy still feeling the effects of the global financial faceplant, there is little to no new merch from independent boutiques and designers this season, adding to the weather gloom. (Though we are happy to report Ms. Andre came across a delightful little denim blazer number for her current obsession: the all-denim look.) While we personally are dubious about the return of the proletariat, we have been proven wrong before.

Perhaps the best find pre-Milan has been the miracle of Pizza Man. Lori declared it to be the best pizza shes ever eaten (margherita, then a Napoli-style capers and anchovies). Followed by the best espresso she's ever drank. All this preceded by the best trip to the Uffizi ever taken, ever. (Someone's in a good mood.) 

Word on the street is that the low, utilitarian hiker/combat boot scaled down to women's sizes is poised to be huge again for fall. Lori adored the one by Fruit/NOW from Fall 2009. Keep an eye out; you may be able to snag a pair.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

House of Harlow

ooOOOooo, we've got a good 'un coming in this spring. We're excited to announce that House of Harlow by Nicole Ritchie will arrive mid-March. Her shoe collection is the follow-up to her popular House of Harlow 1960 jewelry line and apparel collection.

The collection takes inspiration from Ritchie's preference for fashion of the '60s and '70s. This spring that translates into a lot of modified boho styles. Look for riffs on the moccasin, "strong embellishments and tribal details." (Scare quotes to denote the PR bites ricocheting around the 'nets.)

We like the softly structured uppers as seen in the Malorie, finished with whipstitching; or the Native American-inspired bead embroidery of Maddie and the Saloni sandal.

The Tilly perforated jazz shoe has wonderful lines. That cream color makes these perfect for the lighter days of spring.

Ritchie named the collection for her daughter, Harlow Winter Kate Madden.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rodarte Lights it up.

Lori's in Italy (don't even make us recount the harrowing 50 hours it took her to get there). While the cat's away ... the mice will scour the web for info on Fashion Week!

We've always been a fan of Rodarte. They're willingness to take and break trends – as well as fashion new ones from whole cloth – speaks to a restless curiosity and constant poking about at the boundaries of fashion to see what sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy can see.

What happens when you cross the explosion of a textile mill with honky-tonk music? Fall 2010. Beneath the wrapped, twisted, patched layers of fabric and the varying weights and opacities and, yes, blacklight, were light up shoes. Yes! Light up shoes! We love. Our neighbor's kid had these; we simply never made the connection to the runway. That's why we write blogs and the Mulleavys design things. Jealousy aside, well done!

Thanks to @ThePopCulture and photographicpictures.com for posting images we could steal. Check out the show on showstudio.com.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More and Better: Enter the Model

So here's the deal, friends. You answer our survey (located on the homepage) and we take your suggestions to heart and try to make our site better. True, some times we roll our eyes maybe just a little bit or make faces or throw our hands in the air and head to Starbucks but MOSTLY we say "hey yeah ok let's do that." One of those things is the on-foot catalog shot.

Why haven't we done this before? Honestly? Because it is time-consuming and expensive. Why now? Because you want it and we have some very generous friends and we're imposing strict time limits on Facebook (but mostly the first two). We completely agree with you that seeing the shoe on a foot or a cuff on the wrist is incredibly valuable when making a decision about buying online. So we wanted to share some initial shots. They are also scattered throughout our catalog. Give us your opinion. We know we need more wardrobe (thanks American Apparel across the street!) and more styling (Any takers? Call us! We pay in hugs and kisses.), but this is a start and we're excited about it.

However we are not about excuses. We are about giving you awesome shoes and jewelry at great prices on a site that's kick-ass. Please take a look here and answer the poll. We read each and every poll and survey you fill out ... and take them all the heart (even the snarky ones).

And coming soon? Customer reviews. More ways to shop. More ways to save. Private sales. Un-private sales! Sales of every stripe! Lookbooks, cookbooks, cooked books, whatever you need to love us as much as we love to hear from you. So, in a word: thanks. And keep it comin'. We'll keep it going.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Sorel Spot.

Like everyone else, we are are in love with Sorel. Like, love-love. The love is not just ours. WWD recently wrote a fall preview on the Columbia-owned line from which we quote:

Bold colors, fun plaids and details — including contrast laces and menswear accents — make traditional boot player Sorel’s fall ’10 women’s collection a more fashionable one. The company, a division of Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Sportswear, may be continuing its fashion-forward initiative, but traditional winter features such as waterproof materials, fur trims and outsoles with ice-ready traction ensure that the boots and shoes can handle harsh weather. Sorel’s fall line will deliver to better department stores, outdoor shops and boutiques in August.
– Jennifer Ernst Beaudry Fall Preview: Sorel - WWD.com

What's so great? Sorel's retro look, easy pricing and hardcore winter foot protection have turned practical into the fashionable. They are simply the core of classic winterwear. In fact, we hope Sorel does not get too fashionable; they're old school ways are what grabbed our attention. If spring weren't looking so good, we'd be wishing it were fall again ... Regardless, our order is placed, the boots are coming. Just keeping you excited the whole year 'round!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Clean Sweep

We've picked a winner for the UGG Dakota giveaway (congratulations Tanalyn R. of Missouri!) and have rolled out a new one! We are super-excited to present the QUIRKY!!! This complex platform pump brings a lot to the table: teal patent heelcup and trim, teal gingham upper, woven wicker sole, one-inch platform, 4-1/2-inch heel, citron bow over a peeptoe. (Pause to catch the breath.) Whew. That's a lot. But it works! All these different elements work in conjunction like a complicated, fashiony machine to work the spring trends.

And it can be yours for free. Simply sign up for the giveaway with your name and email. No purchase necessary, but we would appreciate naming your first-born Lori as well (hey, might help, eh?) We will, of course, then bombard you with all manner of sales, slogans, promotions, and hysterical discountery. Kidding! We kid. We'll send you weekly updates (OK, bi-weekly usually) on new product arrivals, giveaways like this one and sales. If you no-likee, you unsubscribee. Easy-peasy.

Thanks for playing. Get excited. It's free shoes!

For larger sizes, visit Barefoot Tess Barefoot Tess for larger sizes.