I’m so excited to catch up again this year with Leslie Gallin, President of Footwear at UBM Fashion. She’s sharing ALL about the upcoming FN Platform show (next week)…squeal! There are so many exciting trends right now, and I absolutely love finding out about new designers. Enjoy!
I Heart Heels: What’s it really like inside the FN PLATFORM show and who attends? Leslie Gallin: Twice a year, the FN PLATFORM show floor is filled with excitement and energy. I like to call FN PLATFORM the “Davos” of footwear because it’s the only place where twice a year, global leaders in the footwear industry convene to shape the industry, network and shop for shoes. Our international showcase is the pillar of branded footwear and features men’s, women’s, junior’s and children’s brands from more than 20 countries. We offer six different environments that vary from luxury to lifestyle while providing an interactive, convenient experience all under one roof.
Show attendees include buyers and designers/brands, as well as celebrities, bloggers, stylists, costume designers and the list goes on. Many celebrities and bloggers come to support the brands they work with or even launch new collections of their own. This year, we have actor Blair Underwood attending to launch his new men’s shoe collection, Q by Blair Underwood, in collaboration with famed footwear designer, Pasquale.
IHH: Shoes! At I Heart Heels, we want to know the emerging designers we should look out for this next spring?
LG: This August, we’re thrilled to launch the first Emerging Designer Showcase at FN PLATFORM. The showcase will feature six promising designers that were hand-selected. The participating designers include:
- Becki Coackley – Becki Coakley is a shoe brand that was born from two desires: to create finely detailed and striking shoes and to be a vessel for women to display their sensuality and elegance simultaneously. Becki sees the woman that wears the Becki Coakley shoe brand as one that is confident and isn’t afraid to be different by adding some flair to herself. She is a go-getter that may have power meetings all day long but leaves to enjoy happy hour or a night out on the town. She may also be a woman that goes from a lunch date to running errands all over town confidently wearing her Becki Coakley shoes. Becki Coakley combines simplistic, elegant, timeless, and eye-catching details to make exquisite shoe designs for the sophisticated and chic woman
- Anniel – An Italian brand with a history for excellence, Anniel originally started with ballet shoes. Very new to the US market, they’re excited for their FN PLATFORM debut.
- Tiannia Barnes – The Tiannia Barnes collection features finely curated, Italian-made and lovingly crafted, contemporary-chic women’s shoes. Each pair is uniquely crafted from fine Italian leather and suede to inspire fearlessness, timelessness and boldness.
- Fringe by Ella & Rubi – ELLA + RUBI is an e-boutique that offers meticulously curated, uncommon goods.
- Frou Frouz – A Parisian brand known for their beautiful show accessories, FrouFrouz gives women infinite possibilities to revive a pair of shoes.
- Chelsea Paris – Chelsea Paris is an exciting contradiction; a young luxury footwear label launched in 2011. The brand strikes an elegant balance of feminine modernity and tradition. Heritage and quality are trademarks of the Chelsea Paris brand; the collections are designed by founder/owner Theresa Ebagua and expertly handcrafted using traditional methods in Italy. The Chelsea Paris story is inspired by African culture and the Deco era of the 1920s. The result is beautiful shoes that tread an effortless line between on trend desirability and timeless style.
IHH: Is there anything different about this August’s show?
LG: Yes, every show is a little different and has its own flair. This year’s FN PLATFORM will be a truly innovative overall experience. Show initiatives will reach beyond transactional lines to integrate interactive activities that will touch all the senses for a modern and all-encompassing feel all under one roof.
IHH: What are a few shoe trends repeating from last spring and what’s something new?
LG: Booties, kitten heels and sneakers have been seen as a mainstay. The consumer still wants fashionable, quality shoes; however, are prioritizing comfort with more practical styles. A new trend that is making its way to the forefront are loafers. This sleek style has been elevated to cult status. Offering the perfect balance of feminine-appeal and menswear inspired, the loafer trend can be found in a variety of styles – think bold colors, block heels and pointed toes, just to name a few.
IHH: What about sweet new trends/brands in kids’ shoes?
LG: Anything with glitter for girls and mirror images of adult fashion shoes for both boys and girls.
IHH: Will athletic shoes still be on trend and, if so, what are a couple of styles we should look forward to?
LG: Yes, athletic styled shoes and sneakers are still very much on trend. Rather than the typical white sneaker, expect embellished styles and bold colors for an elevated look.
IHH: What are you most looking forward to this show? There is so much to look forward to this show. One of my favorite events that I look forward to every show is the Opening Night Concert. This season’s concert will feature the band World Classic Rockers, made up of original band members: Nick St. Nicholas and Michael Monarch from Steppenwolf, Aynsley Dunbar from Journey, Randall Hall from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Greg Walker from Santana, Fran Cosmo from Boston, along with David Colye, Mark Hoyt and Juan Del Castillo as back-up. The concert takes place on Monday, August 14 from 6pm-7pm on the FNP show floor and is a “can’t miss”.
Additionally, we have several art installations and experiences that will further elevate the show experience. These include:
- ‘How Espadrilles Are Made’: Artisans from Carvacas, Spain will be crafting Espadrilles by hand in the ZEN Lounge.
- Famed French artist, Huit, will create a live painting on-site in the IN PLAY lounge.
- PENSOLE Academy will host a student workshop showcasing a special on-site display of graffiti shoe art, featuring sneakers created by students from last season’s competition.
- Renowned brand, Hush Puppies will celebrate 60 years with a historic footwear installation retrospective.
On Tuesday, August 15, the Home Shopping Network (HSN) will be heading to FN PLATFORM. As part of their American Dreams Initiative, a panel of executives, producers and presenters will hear live product pitches from MAGIC exhibitors. The pitches will take place from 9-6pm in the FN Cafe. This is open to all MAGIC exhibitors but those interested in participating must apply to give their pitch pre-show.
We have a breadth of educational seminars and networking opportunities this show. Beginning Sunday, August 13 the NRSA opens with inspiring and educational programs topical to the footwear industry with panels like ‘Retail Isn’t Dead’ and ‘Where Ideas Come From.’ Footwear News will be hosting ‘Five-On-Five’, bringing together five footwear industry influencers for an open discussion about what’s happening in fashion, embracing the new consumer and where the footwear industry is going. This takes place on Tuesday, August 15 from 2pm to 3pm in FN PLATFORM’s BOND Lounge.
In addition to all of our industry initiatives, we also have a charitable campaign taking place on show site. Make-A-Wish and National Shoe Travelers will have representatives on-site accepting donated airline miles to further support Make-A-Wish’s mission. To donate air miles, stop by IN PLAY lounge on August 15 from 2-4pm or donate online at www.wish.org.nst.
Last but not least, we’re always looking forward to the new and international brands exhibiting at the show. We will have top names from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, UK, and Turkey sending their best of the best to the show; and some new brands including Danner, Chie Mihara, Les Tropeziennes, Hotter, Reef, Castaner, Vionic Beach, SeaVees, and Frances Valentine exhibiting for the first time at FN PLATFORM.
disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I was compensated. But, this is one of my favs every year!