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It’s a night like no other. Footwear News hit the town in New York and Los Angeles for Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday to go behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in the fashion business and their celebrity friends.
Manolo Blahnik and his business partner, George Malkemus, share the same taste in shoes — and songstresses, too. “We have a love affair with Cyndi Lauper,” said Malkemus, who gave the singer a glowing introduction before she performed in Blahnik’s New York store Thursday night. Lauper, who sported a pair of red over-the-knee boots custom made by Blahnik, performed an a cappella version of “True Colors.” “These are my stunning, kinky boots,” proclaimed the singer, who is behind the music for the new Broadway show “Kinky Boots.” “Everyone wants to feel sexy sometime, and there is nothing like feeling sexy with a boot,” Lauper told Spy. “I like the Manolo look because it’s sexy, but I switch back and forth between combat boots. It depends on the day, if I have to run around.” So as a fan of fashion, has Lauper ever considered a design career for herself? “I went to high school [for visual arts], but I flunked out.”
On the Move
It was a jam-packed night for Rachel Roy. The designer made a quick stop at Saks Fifth Avenue’s revamped shoe floor to greet shoppers before hopping on a plane to Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention. (The designer traveled in style with Kim Kardashian on a private jet.) Roy, who planned to be back in town before her runway show on Tuesday, was seen sporting a pair of shoes from the upcoming spring collection. “I’m wearing shoes from the show tonight, which I probably shouldn’t,” the designer joked. “I’m trying really hard not to get them dirty.” ... Other big names at Saks included Oscar De La Renta, New York Knick Amar'e Stoudemire and designer Rebecca Minkoff, who is holding her runway show Friday at Lincoln Center. Minkoff told Spy she drew a lot of inspiration from the work of photographer Slim Aarons. “I started looking at a ton of his photos and I was really inspired by that time period,” Minkoff said. “I sort of reimagined that lifeststyle and how it would work for a modern girl today.” So how does Minkoff look to wind down after a hectic show season? “I really don’t have a plan,” she said. “I just want to go back to working my normal 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours.”
Rachel Zoe is headed back to Bravo. The cable network announced this week that season five of “The Rachel Zoe Project” is in the works. And Zoe couldn’t be more excited: “It’s another job this season,” she quipped. The stylist-turned-designer was on hand at Piperlime’s brand new store in Soho for Fashion’s Night Out. And as a guest editor who regularly identifies must-have items for the website, Zoe offered a few tips for this season and beyond. Her No. 1 pick for spring? “An ankle boot makes me happy all year. It’s pretty fantastic.” And when it comes to fashion don’ts the style maven said a little goes a long way. “Go easy on animal prints or strong prints.”
After more than 30 years in the business, it’s no surprise that Vince Camuto feels at home on the sales floor. The designer and executive was on hand in his Soho store for Fashion’s Night Out, mingling with fans and selling quite a few pairs of shoes. “The customer is so much smarter and savvier [these days],” Camuto said. “It’s amazing that every woman, no matter where I go, knows exactly what’s going on.” And his sales space is about to get even bigger. The brand has plans to open 50 to 60 stores internationally next year in such countries as India, China, England, Mexico and Guatemala.
Ping-Pong pro Stuart Weitzman is also quite the tennis fan. Just this week, the designer was in attendance for Andy Roddick’s final match before his retirement. “I saw Pete Sampras win his last tournament and it would have been nice to see Roddick do that, but the screen kept putting [Roddick’s wife] Brooklyn Decker up there instead of him,” joked Weitzman, at his Madison Avenue store for Fashion’s Night Out. Model Petra Nemcova was a guest for the evening. Nemcova, who will appear in a social media video for Weitzman in October, donned the designer’s Close Call ankle boot. “Stuart brings an element of coolness and sex appeal and comfort [to his designs],” she said.