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30 Years Young

Robert Clergerie might be celebrating three decades in the shoe business, but he works a room like an eager up-and-comer. Holding court in his packed Premiere Classe space last week, the designer said he’s hitting the road to mark the milestone, with planned appearances at Bergdorf Goodman later this month and On Pedder next year. He reminisced about his first big retail get, Barneys, in 1981: “Gene Pressman was my first customer. ... We have a long love story with Barneys.” The designer also sounded off on his distaste for the industry’s shift toward “overdesigning.” That’s one reason he continues to admire Manolo Blahnik. “I like the way he designs: simply.”

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