Fancy Footwear

Meghan Cleary

With shoe obsessions continuing to grow exponentially, venerated footwear instutions have stepped up to the plate with products that satisfy industry influencers as well as the consumer audience.

Footwear Plus, the footwear industry’s monthly magazine, just launched a new website with a Nylon-esque feel and decidedly downtown sensibility, a daily updated blog with op-ed about how the larger retail world trends translate into the industry and a free Trendspotting email blast.

Meanwhile, ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Calzaturifci Italiani), otherwise known as the The National Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers, follows up its groundbreaking Made in Italy social media campaign with a spot-on trend report for spring/summer ’10 straight from Milan. Originally intended for the shoe industry, the report offers key inspirations for global fashionistas this fall from trend stories such as Vertical Garden to Urban Chic Marina.

Despite publisher Jay Spaleta’s recent replacement by Men’s Vogue publisher Marc Berger, Footwear News pioneers forward this fall with the first ever Stepping Out in Italian Shoes event during Fashion Week in September. The event is set to be like an Academy Awards for shoes, celebrating the best in Italian design and manufacturing.

These changes, varied as they may be, could be the ticket to opening the industry to consumers rather than just insiders.

—Meghan Cleary