Diesel footwear is upping its fashion cred. For spring '12, the brand will continue to shy away from its athletic roots and instead offer more fashion-forward looks. And since launching the updated styles this spring, Diesel noted consumers and fashionistas have responded to the makeover. "[The new line] has been very welcomed," said VP of sales Tony Strippoli. "The inspiration is still rock 'n' roll, and the big shift for us is to translate that to more feminine and less aggressive [styles]." Looking forward, Strippoli said shoes will continue to make a mark. Footwear is expected to become 40 percent of overall business.
Milan-based footwear school Ars Sutoria and FFANY celebrated the culmination of their first New York class the Italian way: with a little wine and cheese. On the fourth night of the five-week course, the organizations co-hosted a party in Manhattan to celebrate the end of their Art of Shoemaking course. "It's a good way to spend some time together after a week of hard work," said senior instructor Paolo Marenghi. Among the 23 party-going students were "FN Shoe Star" alums Maggie Cervick, Hyojin Choi and Melissa Cordero. "I always wanted to fly to Milan and take this course, so I was happy when I heard it was coming to New York," said Cordero, who's now a designer for Nine West Footwear. "It's a good way to fall back in love with what you do."