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Two Aussie heritage brands contributed in a new way to New York Fashion Week this season. Emu Australia partnered with Elle to present the company’s first fashion show, at Stage 37 on Feb. 17, featuring the shearling boot collection and contemporary women’s apparel. Why this year? “New York Fashion Week was a fantastic opportunity for [the brand] to showcase the fall ’10 footwear line in the most global and exciting setting possible,” said Coel Dart, international marketing manager.
Taking a different tack, Ugg Australia hosted a lounge for models that was co-sponsored by GMC, which transported models to and from the lounge between shows. “The oasis in snowy New York allowed the models to relax and enjoy the fireplace, cozy shearling rugs, tasty treats and to try our new Bailey Button boot, while checking their e-mail and more,” said Kristen Thomason, PR manager for Ugg. “It was important for Ugg to make sure the models were running to and from the shows looking and feeling fantastic and warm.” Models who took advantage of the lounge included A-listers Coco Rocha, Behati Prinsloo, Karlie Kloss, Sessilee Lopez and Hannah Holman, among others.
The Italian Trade Commission and Italian Federation of Fashion Accessories partnered to host a luncheon and exhibition that showcased all categories of made-in-Italy accessories at Bryant Park. Footwear, handbags, jewelry, eyewear and fur by Italian designers were on display and were meant to create a consistent image for Italian-made accessories. The organizations also hoped to promote the country’s designers in the U.S. The same sort of campaign may travel to Asia and possibly Russia, said Aniello Musella, director of the Italian Trade Commission for the U.S. — that is, “if the market will grow there again.”
As for the upcoming alignment of Micam and Milan Fashion Week,ANCI’s Diego Rossetti (managing director of Fratelli Rossetti) said it has already been a major achievement, resulting in the trade show’s highest number of exhibitors to date. “Of 1,600 exhibitors, 600 are foreigners, which gives Micam an international image. But only high-quality shoes made in Brazil, Spain or Portugal are included,” he said. “Very few of the exhibitors are made in China or India.”
Not wanting to miss out on a chance for global exposure in the tents, five Spanish footwear designers bonded together to showcase their creative visions at Bryant Park. In the spotlight were designers Chie Mihara,Magrit,Magnanni, Pura Lopez and Sendra Boots, whose fall ’10 creations were on display, while the full collections were shown over video podcasts.
Fashion Week offered no shortage of new (or improved) collaborations. Paris-based footwear designer Raphael Young partnered with Frank Tell to create the pointy, cutaway wedge ankle boots at the brand’s Feb. 12 MAC&Milk presentation. Young’s own fall ’10 collection, titled “Revolution,” features several innovative elements, including a newly patented mirrored leather sole and transparent cone heels with water inside. “I’ve studied the works of Galileo and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and tried to apply them to shoemaking,” he said. “The foot is the metaphorical sun of the shoe, [so everything] gravitates around it.”
Meanwhile, Milan-based designer Max Kibardin was called in to collaborate with Chado Ralph Rucci to create feather-cuffed evening sandals and mesh pumps for the runway. “It was an honor to create the shoes for the show of a designer I admire so much,” said Kibardin. “[Ralph Rucci is] well known for his high quality standards. I feel very in tune with his aesthetic since we share the imagination of the same type of woman.”