Posts Tagged ‘Milan’

Have shoes! Will travel!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Ped fans, I recently returned from my biannual pilgrimage to New York, Paris, and Milan to attend the shoe shows and catch up with old friends! It’s always a blast to combine shopping for Ped with sightseeing and people-watching—I learn so much from simply walking around these fashion-rich cities!

While I was in New York, my dear friend Kimmy became the most beautiful 50-year-old on the planet! It was fantastic to be able to celebrate with her and several of our longtime friends (including Nicole, who worked for Ped back in its Seattle days).

Here's a collage from Kimmy's fun birthday party!

A collage of the big fun we had at  Kimmy’s birthday party!

Then I was off to Paris!

At the Parisian shoe show, the emphasis was on oiled and brushed leathers, and the big colors were red, grey, navy, forest, and mocha. Metallics were also still running strong, so you can expect a lot of sparkle next fall and winter! As for styles, the must-haves were ankle boots yet again, but they’ve become both sexier and more practical. One of my favorite trends was unusual color combinations—the Chie Mihara designs, in particular, really packed a punch, so get ready!

Of course, we can never get enough of Cydwoq:

Cydwoq collage

So much beauty to look forward to! (By the way, the lovely gal with Rafi and me up top is Margaret, the proprietor of Traipse, a fantastic shoe store in Chicago.)

After hours, it was fun to talk shop over dinner with friends in the biz!

People I'm always happy to see: (l-r)  Rafi from Cydwoq, Claudia from Trippen, Louise and Hailey from Gravity Pope, and Michael from Trippen.

People I’m always happy to see: (l-r) Rafi from Cydwoq, Claudia from Trippen, Louise and Hailey from Gravity Pope, and Michael from Trippen.

After my brief sojourn in France, I flew to Italy for the Milan Micam show, which is one of the biggest shoe shows in Italy.

Booth after beautiful booth of shoes!

Booth after beautiful booth of shoes at the Milan Micam show!

While in Milan, Ped’s Fiorentini + Baker representative, Eliza, invited me to her home for a meal! One word: DELICIOUS!

This was just the beginning of our dinner. How come the tomatoes and burrata are so amazing in Italy?

This was just the beginning of our dinner. How come the tomatoes and burrata are so amazing in Italy?

After working two weeks straight without a day off, I finally took some time for myself. Milan is a wonderful place to roam around!

Various sights from my day of Milan meandering.

Various sights from my day of Milan meandering.

Then it was back on the plane to fly to home sweet home, Ped HQ!

In addition to lining up gorgeous new styles from all your Ped favorites, I discovered a wonderful new sock line while in Europe! Plus, look for the return of Vialis next fall! Such whirlwind traveling is exhausting, but I love finding things that I know will thrill you Ped fans. So stay tuned, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months!

Overseas for shoes of the future . . .

Friday, April 6th, 2012

. . . or at least for next fall and winter! Ped fans, in March I again jumped across the pond to visit the European shoe shows in Milan and Paris. These are the trips where I place orders for next season’s goods, trying on and closely examining all the styles to make sure they’re up to Ped’s high standards for comfort and quality.

For Ped to carry a line, it has to persuade me of four things: 1) it’s made with an eye to social and environmental ethics; 2) the company prioritizes outstanding craftsmanship using the very best materials; 3) the designs are comfortable and easy to wear; and 4) the goods must have style for miles!!!

I work hard on these trips! But I also have a lot of fun! I love soaking up European culture and observing new trends. Come along for a vicarious ride!

When I landed in Milan, spring was in full swing, even though it was early March. The colors were so beautiful!

A Milanese flower vendor's stall on the way to the Fiorentini + Baker showroom! Gorgeous!

Flowers weren’t the only colorful spectacle—check out this dazzling display for Louis Vuitton:

What a creative use of arrows!

Fabulous shoes were everywhere! Even in the gourmet food section of La Rinascente!

Have your shoes and eat them, too! Chocolate shoes for 40 Euros.

Granted, not everyone in Milan was there for shoes. I saw these McDonald’s chefs on a photo shoot at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (a must-visit indoor shopping arcade).

Pretty sure their meals weren't as happy as the ones I ate in Milan!

Speaking of food, on my day off I walked for five hours straight, visiting the famous Corso Como, and rewarded myself with gelato!

Pear and guava gelato! YUM!

Whenever I’m in Milan I make sure to light a candle for my much-missed father at Il Duomo.

Candles in Il Duomo.

Then it was off to Paris, where my morning “commute” is about as stress-free as it gets.

The beautiful Seine was glass-like on my walk to work.

At the show, Cydwoq had so many beautiful styles I had a difficult time choosing. I think you’ll be pleased, though!

A booth of swoon-worthy Cydwoq shoes and boots!

Wondering what looks are popular for next fall and winter? Well, the love affair with oxfords and menswear-influenced styles continues. Plus, booties are still big (the kind you wear on your feet!), worn unlaced and unbuckled in a casual European way. Vintage looks, as well as polka dots and stripes, are also on trend.

The big story, though, is a renewed emphasis on COLOR! Ruby red, mustard yellow, leaf green, royal blue—every saturated hue imaginable! I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a little taste of what you have to look forward to!

After a long day, I had a delicious Lebanese dinner with Cydwoq’s Rafi and Trippen’s Michael. This was our view as we walked home:

Oooooh, sparkly!

Ped fans, I love my job!

March across the pond (Part II)

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Yesterday I told you about the social side of my March trip to Paris and Milan. Today I’ll fill you in on the trends and style statements I saw at shoe shows in France and Italy. Ped fans, you have a lot to look forward to in the fall! But the GREAT news is Ped is on its game—much of what will be all the rage in a few months is already on the shelves at the Ped warehouse!

Perhaps the most noticeable trend was FUR! It was everywhere—on shoes, on boots, on vests, hanging off of bags, more than I’ve ever seen. Just to whet your appetite, I ordered a version of Cydwoq’s gorgeous Podium boot with fur panels.

That said, ankle boots will continue to hold court next season, so our current version of the Podium is also right on trend:

Cydwoq’s 2″ resin heel is perfect since flats and low heels are going to be in vogue.

If you want to get a jump on the flat bootie trend, consider Vic Matie’s Euro-chic Luisa:

Another trend with staying power is men’s oxfords for women, such as Fiorentini + Baker’s terrific Eliza Oxford:

People were not only wearing their oxfords without socks in Paris and Milan, but fashionistsas were also wearing oxfords and boots with laces and buckles completely undone. All the Japanese buyers were rocking the deconstructed laceless and unbuckled look! If you have a size 36 or 37 foot, you can get ahead of the curve with the Vialis Mila, which Ped currently has on sale. (Lucky you!)

Innovative leather treatments are also going to be a hallmark of next season. Get an eyeful of the variety Cydwoq had on offer to retailers:

Ped fans can also look forward to eye-popping patterned leathers from Chie Mihara and jewel-toned suedes from Accessoire.

Regarding color trends, the new black is definitely GREY, which was all over the place in Europe in all kinds of shades. You can show off your trend-setting savvy right now by stepping out in Vic Matie’s Allegra:

You’ll be doubly cutting-edge in this slate-grey beauty since wooden soles also hold sway next fall. Expect knockout wood-soled styles from Vialis and Ellen Verbeek, too.

Given the style forecast, if you’re fortunate enough to fit into one of our remaining pairs of Ellen Verbeek’s Elise Bootie (on sale!), you’ll be right on trend on three fronts simultaneously:

Simply remove the laces, and you’ll be ultra-chic with a laceless wood-soled bootie! What could be better? And everyone will admire you for being so in the know!

Of course, everyone at Ped Central is excited about the fantastic things I ordered for fall while in Paris and Milan. But I have to say we’re also feeling pretty sassy about having so many cutting-edge styles already in the house! Advantage: Ped fans!

March across the pond (Part I)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

This spring things have been so busy at Ped that it’s taken me until now to tell you about my fantastic March trip to the shoe shows in Paris and Milan. It’s always so fun to catch up with Ped’s favorite designers and see what they have on tap for the coming season!

I’ve decided to split my report into two parts. In this installment, I’ll tell you all about who I saw and what we did. And tomorrow, I’ll tell you the latest trends and how you can make your style cutting-edge and oh-so chic!

First, let’s talk biz in Paris. As usual, I had my wonderful morning and evening walk through the Jardin des Tuileries going to and from the show.

It's tempting to sit down and just spend the day people watching in the park!

The stroll really was the perfect way to begin and end the day. By the way, my home away from home was the Hotel La Perle.

The  booths of interesting items at the show were seemingly endless!

The show's tents are visible in the distance to the statue's left. On the right, booth after booth, on and on...

I get so many great ideas not only from browsing through the displays but also from seeing what everyone is wearing! (Stay tuned for Part II.)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Paris show without Cydwoq’s Rafi and Trippen’s Michael!

Rafi and Michael take a gelato break!

Sure, they make fabulous shoes, but the geniuses behind Cydwoq and Trippen are also just great guys!

When you spend as much time at shoe shows as I do, you get to know a lot of other nice retailers, like Louise from Gravity Pope!

Isn't Louise's smile great? We're about to have dinner with Rafi and Michael.

Another friend I met years ago is the lovely Amy Gardner, who owns Scarpa in Charlottesville, Va. We met up in Milan for a few days of business and pleasure!

Amy and my husband take in the view from the roof of our hotel!

We loved where we stayed: The Hotel Milano Scala, an amazing “green” hotel with a delightful rooftop deck!

Of course, because we were in Italy, it wasn’t all about shoes—it was about eating, too!!! If you like mozzarella, by all means go to Obika, which is a fantastic “mozzarella bar.” We also enjoyed the fresh fish and ceviche at Pescheria de Claudio.

There were signs of Ped all over Milan—literally:

I came back to my desk at Ped HQ refreshed from seeing old friends and enjoying a dose of European culture, and excited about all the beauty coming Ped’s way in the fall!

Home is where the shoeboxes are!

Check back tomorrow for Part II, when I’ll tell you all about what’s on the horizon for fall and how you can get a jump start on your cutting-edge style! (Why wait?)

Ped-setting across the pond!

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Hello, Ped fans! Sorry to leave the blog untended for so long, but I have the best possible excuse: I was shoe shopping for you in Milan and Paris! And, wow, is there a lot to look forward to next spring! Not only will Ped have the latest from your favorite designers, but we’re bringing back NDC from Belgium and adding Vic Matie sandals from Italy.

I began my style hunt in Milan, where the shoe show had an ultra-hip, retro-70s aesthetic.

So fun to look for shoes at the Micam show in Milan!

Of course, I ran into several of Ped’s treasured designers. It’s always a treat to see Chie Mihara!

Chie Mihara has such a great spirit—you just have to smile with her!

And here’s the lovely Ellen Verbeek, one of the latest additions to the Ped family. (If you haven’t checked out her gorgeous wood-soled boots yet, you really must!)

Ellen Verbeek is as beautiful as her designs!

After Milan, it was off to Paris for another shoe show (tis the season).

The Paris show's aesthetic was streamlined and modern.

I managed to get three of Ped’s favorites in one shot! Check it out:

Cydwoq's Rafi Balouzian, Chie Mihara, and Trippen's Michael Oehler—what a design-tastic trio!

You may be wondering what trends I discovered. Well, next spring is going to be very colorful; I ordered shoes in red, yellow, grey, teal, navy, caramel, along with lots of metallics, which continue to sizzle. Look for studded detailing on bags and shoes. Also, wedge heels—both wood and cork—are all the rage. And Chie’s line for Spring 2011 features lots of contrast stitching and mixes of suede and leather.

Perhaps my favorite trend is oxfords worn with skirts or cropped pants and no socks! Love that! Two looks I don’t care for, though, are thick socks with heels and nylons worn with peep-toe wedges. Ugh!

I became a little obsessed with photographing the wide range of shoes the buyers and sellers were wearing at the show. Here’s a sampler of what the shoe pros were sporting in Paris:

Honestly, two of the best parts of the day were walking to and from work because my route let me stroll through the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, which looked particularly spectacular blooming with fall flowers.

Aahhh, I love Paris in the autumn!

(By the way, in case you haven’t discovered it yet, this week’s “sweet treat” is Ellen Verbeek’s knockout Camille Boot! Get 20% off this Belgian stunner by clicking “be sweet to your feet” in the top right corner of any Ped page, which will instantly take you to the Camille and the sought-after discount code!)

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