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With Hollywood’s awards season well under way (starting with the Jan. 11 Golden Globes), there should be lots of high-fashion shoe buzz coming up as stars take to the red carpet for the SAGs and the Oscars — and designer Stuart Weitzman is ready. Weitzman has upped his celeb outreach, making custom shoes available for those making the scene. The first client? Angelina Jolie (at left). “She looks so great in anything and is such a nice person,” Weitzman said. The actress requested two custom peep-toes in metallic neutrals for the season. “This approach is now part of our accommodation to the actresses and stylists,” he told Insider. “In good times and bad, consumers love to know and to see what the stars do and wear. The benefits [for us] are always there.”
In these challenging times, Ron White of Toronto’s Ron White shoe stores is positioning his charity endeavors a little differently. For the retailer’s 13th annual winter shoe drive for the homeless and needy — which kicked off Jan. 8 — White said he wanted to make a low-key pitch to consumers. “We’re not asking for your money, we don’t want you to pull out your checkbook,” he told Insider. “We’re asking people to go into their closet and find the gently worn winter shoes and boots they’re not wearing.” Signed shoes from celeb donors including actors Michael Cera and Jeremy Irons (at left) help give the good cause a little sparkle. White spoke to Insider as he headed out for a meeting of the new Ron White Foundation’s board — which, he hinted, could host a shoe-centric benefit gala this year.
Insider hears from some credible sources that outdoor giant Merrell might be in the market for an acquisition — namely sandal-brand Chaco. Official word from Merrell: “We are not talking to third parties at this time about potential acquisitions.” Stay tuned.