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Message from Princess: The highs & lows of shoes in 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Happy New Year’s!  With 2010 mere hours away, it’s that time of year when everyone thinks about the upcoming year and what it holds.  Of course, we also like to take a moment to look back at 2009 and all of the crazy, interesting and otherwise memorable events that happened throughout the year.  Shoes are no exception.  There’s always something new going on in the world of footwear and we definitely had plenty to talk about in the past year.  So, before we jump into 2010, let’s take one more look at some of the notable shoe news of 2009.  I’m also going to share a few of my own shoe purchases.  Each can be classified as a high or a low, as you will see here:

High: The number of survey respondents that reportedly remember their first pair of shoes over their first kiss, reported by Telegraph UK.  92% off 1,000 women say they remember the first shoes they bought with their own money, but less than 2 in 3 (which I guess would be around 67% or less) remembered the name of the person they first smooched.  Personally, I’m a bit skeptical.  As much as I love shoes, I’m a little vague about the first pair I bought.  I had a part-time job at 16 and, back then, I often had the luxury of devoting entire paychecks (albeit small ones) to clothes and shoes.  I think it may have been these brown leather MIA platform sandals that I loved and wore and wore until I could wear them no more, but I’m not certain.  I definitely remember the name of the person I first kissed though, so I must be in the minority on this one.

Low: The amount Titan Industries Inc. reportedly paid to buy shoe company Penny & Kenny Shoes LLC, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.  There was a motion filed to sell all company assets for $150,000, including the Penny Loves Kenny trademark.  While that’s a lot of money for the average individual, it seems like a bargain for Titan, whose mix of brands include Betsey Johnson, L.A.M.B., Bebe and Badgley Mischka.  Penny Loves Kenny will provide a “purely juniors” brand to their lineup, something they lacked before.

High: Despite a struggling economy, people are still buying shoes.  There are a few theories on why we’re still seeing strong sales in this area: shoes are generally considered more of a necessity than things like new handbags or dresses, they are often more moderately priced and have a lower cost-per-wear than other purchases and they can instantly spruce up an older outfit.  Of course, they also make us feel good and women “get an emotional lift from shoe shopping in a way they do not when trying on jeans and cocktail dresses.”  Eileen Lewis of Zappos also notes that many consumers are purchasing shoes in bright colors like red and yellow, which can provide an uplifting boost.

Low: The infamous Barbie cankle comment made by Christian Louboutin, who has partnered with Mattel to “serve as a yearlong godfather to Barbie, not just rethinking her fashion wardrobe and physical attributes, but also art directing her in different lifelike situations”.  Actually, I don’t think he ever used the word “cankle”, but a Louboutin spokesperson said “He found her ankles were too fat,” which sparked a frenzy across the net.  Many Barbies laughed it off, but unfortunately one Barbie didn’t react so well to the news:

“What? Christian Louboutin said I have fat ankles?  You mean THE Christian Louboutin, my godfather, right?  He really said that?”

“No he didn’t.  Seriously?!  I don’t have cankles…do I?”

“OMG, I have cankles, don’t I?!”

Her beau Ken wasn’t too happy either…

“Dude, why?  This is all I’ve been hearing about.  I told her she’s Barbie, she’s perfect, but she won’t listen.  She’s even talking plastic surgery now – and she’s already plastic!  I can’t talk her out of it.  Thanks, man, thanks.”

Louboutin later clarified, saying “…fat ankles she didn’t have, she just could have had thinner ankles.  That’s all.” and Barbie was somewhat consoled.  Luckily, all was completely forgiven when she saw the Barbie shoes he designed and the ultra-pink pair he made for real-life dolls, the Christian Louboutin Claudia:

High: Speaking of Louboutin, I’d say the shoe of the year would have to be his Bridget Strass:

It’s been seen on a multitude of celebrities, featured in the upcoming Sex and the City 2 movie, worn by Kandi on The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion and by Jennifer Lopez in the AMA and MTV Music Video Awards performances of her song “Louboutins”.  This shoe is definitely hot, for good reason. 

Update: Check out the Christian Louboutin Bridget lookalike shoe that I found.

 

Low: J.Lo’s said new song “Louboutins”, which I’m not really feeling.  Theoretically, a song about Louboutins could work, but the execution of this one seems a bit off.  All I seem to hear is “part-time lover” mentioned a few times, followed by a repetitive string of “Louboutins” – 45 times to be exact.  It’s the type of song with the potential to get hopelessly stuck in your head.  Apparently, Christian Louboutin loves the song and was flattered to hear about it, but I have to wonder – was this song simply born out of Lopez’s love for the shoes or was it a brand placement deal struck between her and Louboutin?  After all, having a song featuring his brand name would serve to further entrench his shoes into pop culture, thus furthering his quest for world domination:

Yes, I’m totally speculating, but you never know.

High: The buzz generated by Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shoes, which had to be the most talked about shoes of the year.  I’m sure it’s hard for designers to continuously come up with new and different shoes that stand out, but these certainly did.  Although they don’t seem very wearable in real life, it’s no surprise that extreme dresser Lady Gaga was one of the first to don them, in her video for “Bad Romance”.

High: The number of celebrities jumping on the shoe design bandwagon.  Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (Olsenboye for JCPenney and Elizabeth and James), Dinah Lohan, Fergie, Nicole Richie and more celebs either started shoe lines or announced them in 2009.  Plus, Britney Spears promoted for Candies and designers like Christian Siriano and Jimmy Choo created lines for budget-friendly Payless and H&M, respectively.  Now we have news that Lindsay Lohan will be expanding her 6126 leggings label to include a full-line of apparel, cosmetics, handbags, jewelry and, yes, shoes.

Now, here’s a few shoes I purchased this year that I’d like to share:

Low: The price I paid for this Betsey Johnson Layla heel, which I adore.  They originally retailed for $225, but I happened to spot them on clearance at Victoria’s Secret, inconspicuously listed as “floral sandal”.  They were listed for $89.99 at the time and they had a 20% off coupon, which I missed, but they were later marked down to $79.99, which was much lower than I ever saw anywhere else.  I opted for the black version, figuring it would work with more outfits, but I still kind of covet the pink pair.  Unfortunately, it appears they are sold out everywhere online.

High: The amount of shoe love I have for this Naughty Monkey Resurrection heel, which I purchased in champagne.  I got a good deal on these as well because Shoemall briefly had a 30% off coupon, which reduced them from $74.99 to $52.47.  They are really pretty, particularly the detail on the back, and they are still available (sizes are very limited in champagne and red).  Coupon code 15AMAZON takes 15% off.

High: My neon yellow shoes from Wet Seal.  Ok, I admit it, I actually got these because I was inspired by an extra wearing a similar pair in the N.E.R.D. video “Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom)”.  I had a hard time finding anything like them at the time, but spotted this pair on clearance at Wet Seal for a mere $5, so I figured I had nothing much to lose.  I didn’t expect the quality to be high or anything, but the main issue is they are so, so uncomfortable, like right when you put them on.  I also tried them on with a few things and nothing seemed to look right.  Thus, I haven’t worn them at all.  So, why am I calling this a high?

There is one little shoe princess who has a penchant for raiding closets and happens to love this pair.  It tends to be the one she picks out nearly everytime she feels like dressing up, which I suppose is because they are super-bright and shiny and very yellow, which immediately attracts her eye.  Of course, she usually wears them for a very short time and abandons them after they slow her down a little too much.  But, I must say, it’s been priceless to watch her clomp around the house in them.

I happened to try them on with some black leggings and it finally worked.  Someday, if the right mood and occasion somehow meet, I’ll probably wear them…just as long as I’m not doing any walking.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year and here’s to plenty more shoe buzz in 2010!

Message from Princess: Happy holidays to you

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday!!  I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family, eating a delicious Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts.  I have so much to be thankful for, including this blog, which I started a year ago and have had so much fun with.  I appreciate everyone who has followed and kept up with it and I’m definitely looking forward to another year full of cute shoes!

I’m taking a little vacay, up in a cozy cabin in the mountains, and will be sans computer and anything else technically-related for a few days after Christmas, so I won’t be updating the site during that time.  Yes, we all need to unplug and recharge our batteries once in awhile.  But, I will be back with a vengeance right before New Year’s and I’m totally looking forward to it.  Be sure to check back!

Before I go, I must say that I have visions of these shoes dancing in my head:

Jeffrey Campbell Tick in natural burlap for $169.95 at Solestruck

It’s a wedge…it’s a bootie…it’s a…wootie?  A bedge?  Whatever it’s called, I’m loving it.  The studs on the heel look like those little metal tacks you use on bulletin boards, but the way they just barely overlap makes them look slightly reptilian.

I’m also dreaming of a white Christmas:

Jeffrey Campbell Tick in white for $169.95 at Solestruck

I’ll be back soon!!

 

Hot Shoe Trends Spring 2010: Turquoise shoes

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Pantone, a company considered the global authority on color for the design industry, recently announced the Color of the Year for 2010.  They say turquoise is the new “it” color – specifically a shade they call Pantone 15-5519.

According to Pantone, turquoise combines “the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green” and “evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.”  I’m not sure exactly how they decide on the color of the year, but I have to say this is one shade I can really get behind.  I absolutely love turquoise and it certainly works wonders paired with neutrals like black, brown and white.  An excellent example that comes to mind is Eva Mendes at the Golden Globes in her white Dior gown and turquoise necklace, which surely inspired many to break out their own turquoise jewelry.  But, you can also get creative and mix it up with bolder colors like red (another combo I love) and Pantone says it’s “especially trend-setting with yellow-greens.”  Making a fashion statement with turquoise is particularly easy to do with shoes, which can add just the right dose of fresh color to your look.  So, if you want to get a jump-start on this trend (in various shades), check these pairs out:

Luichiny Gim Me sandal for $79.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless

Charlotte Russe Starburst Pump for $34.99 at Charlotterusse.com

Poetic Licence Holiday Delight in blue for $128.95 at Shoebuy.  Get 20% off with coupon code SHOP and free shipping.

Jeffrey Campbell Downtown Bootie for $139.95 at Nordstrom

Chinese Laundry Colette for $59 at Chineselaundry.com.  Coupon code CL-FAST gives free shipping, which saves $9.50.

Nine West Malynn in limited sizes for $29.95 at 6pm until 12/27/09

Charles by Charles David Turvy for $135 at Shoes.com.  Get 20% off with coupon code ENJOY09, making them $108 with free shipping.

Naughty Monkey Steve’s Delight 2 Boot for $39.98 with free shipping at Amazon.  They are also on clearance for $54.97 with free standard shipping at Endless.  Sizes are getting limited at both places.

Miss Me Valenti-2 for $22.68 at Amazon

Get the previously mentioned turquiose/yellow-green combo with the Anne Klein Euphony 3.  It’s $78.95 with free shipping at Shoebuy and coupon code SHOP takes another 20% off.

Update: Another option that leans more towards green than blue is the previously mentioned Seychelles Scallop heel at Urban Outfitters, also known as the Seychelles Tippy Toes at Karmaloop.  Get 30% off at Karmaloop with coupon code 30HAM (exp. unknown) and 10% off at Urban Outfitters with coupon code supersorry through 12/24/09.  Urban Outfitters only has one size left, but the price at Karmaloop is much better at $70 after coupon.

Message from Princess: New Year’s Eve party shoes

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally looking forward to New Year’s.  Not only are we welcoming a fresh new year, which is a nice opportunity for renewal and positive change in life (hello, resolutions!), but we’re also ushering in a new decade, which is always exciting.  I’m sure many of you have big plans for New Year’s Eve this year and, naturally, that means dressing to the nines to celebrate 2010 in style.  Of course, you’ll need a hot pair of shoes to really complete your look.  Here are some shoe options I’ve found that are perfect for a big night out and for putting your best foot forward (literally) into 2010:

Unlisted Future Style pump for $49.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless

Betsey Johnson Lacy for $165 at Lord & Taylor.  Get 20% off with coupon code GIFT until 12/24/09.

Seychelles Dare Pump for $89.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless.  If they have your size, get them at Onlineshoes for $79.99 with free shipping instead (sizes limited).

ALDO Puckett on sale for $59.98 (regularly $80) at ALDO.  Coupon code VIPOFFER gives free shipping.

Steve Madden Rockz for $149.95 at Stevemadden.com.  Use coupon code COUNTDOWN30 until 12/21/09 to get 30% off and free shipping.

Jeffrey Campbell Charo for $114.95 at Nordstrom

Zigi Bloom Pump for $99.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless

I wish everyone the best year ever in 2010 and, as always, plenty of cute shoes to wear.

Shoe Buzz: Charlize Theron designs TOMS shoes for Africa Outreach Project

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Charlize Theron is a talented actress and style icon who always looks gorgeous in the latest designer fashions, but she also devotes time to helping others from her home country of South Africa through her charity, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project.  The non-profit has a mission of “creating a safer and healthier life for impoverished, under-resourced children and communities of South Africa, with a particular focus on individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS” and their efforts have included providing mobile health clinics in the Umkhanyakude District that provide health testing and education.  They have plans to build athletic facilities with clean water sources and develop community soccer programs in the coming year.  TOMS Shoes is also involved – they’ve partnered with the charity to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes for residents of the area, which will be distributed this month.  As part of this collaboration, Charlize has designed a limited-edition shoe for TOMS with a portion of the sales proceeds going to her charity.  Here is the shoe she designed, one version for women and one for men:

Charlize Theron TOMS Baobab for women $54 at TOMS

Charlize Theron TOMS Baobab for men $54 at TOMS

The vegan-friendly canvas slip-ons feature a native baobab tree design and a custom lining with an Africa Outreach Project logo pattern.  Unfortunately, the women’s pair is already on backorder, but check back with TOMS for future availability.  There are still a few sizes left in the men’s version, which could be a nice gift idea for that special guy in your life.  If you order by 12/20/09, you can get it by Christmas via UPS 3-day air.  Other expedited shipping options are available through the 22nd of this month.  In addition, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for any pair of shoes bought on their site.  It’s definitely the kind of shoe purchase that keeps on giving – something we can all feel good about.

Update: The men’s version is now also sold out, but it looks like TOMS will be re-stocking this style, so be sure to check back!

Seen on People StyleWatch

Charlize Theron photo from www.charlizeafricaoutreach.org

Shoe Buzz: Shoes from the closets of Kim, Gretchen & Teresa of The Real Housewives on Bravo

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’ve definitely developed a serious addiction to The Real Housewives series on Bravo.  It started out innocently enough – I didn’t even watch the first OC season when it originally aired, but started catching up on re-runs and subsequent seasons, then started watching the Atlanta, New York and New Jersey seasons – and now it’s full-blown, can’t miss TV complete with in-between-season withdrawal.  Sure, there are plenty of situations on the show designed for maximum drama – like those frequent get-togethers with the cast, even those that don’t get along, just to see what happens (wig-pulling, table-toppling, that kind of thing) – and the ladies certainly play things up for the camera, but you get the sense that they are being pretty real and they definitely entertain.  Plus, they all love their fashion.  That’s why it was fun to see a recent In Touch article called In Their Closets, which gives a peek into the personal wardrobes of Teresa from New Jersey, Gretchen from Orange County and Kim from Atlanta.  They each have their own unique sense of style, so who do you identify the most with fashion-wise?

I think I’d have to say Gretchen Rossi, whose bubbly, effusive personality has really grown on me this season (lay off already Tamra!).  She describes her look to In Touch as “very girlie-girl, very bedazzled, very glamorous” and she proves her point by wearing a super-sparkly sequined mini dress in magenta, which she calls “fantabulous”.  She wisely pairs it with nude Christian Louboutin heels that are super-sexy, but allow the dress to shine.  They look similar to this pair:

Christian Louboutin Lady Claude in nude for $745 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Here are some lower-priced nude heels: 

Nine West Bonfire pump for $88.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless

BCBGirls Ariel for up to $89.95 depending on size selected at Amazon.

Gretchen also holds two of her shoes in the mag and I definitely recognized one of them right away.  It’s this pretty pair:

The Bebe Bella Lace Sandal, which is $149 at Bebe.com.  Buy 1 full-priced item, get 50% off a second item using coupon code GET50OFF until 12/20/09.  Or, get 15% off $100 or more with code 15OFF100 until 12/24/09.

The other pair is a black satin heel with a decorative rhinestone ornament on top.  I’m not sure of the exact pair, but these shoes have a similar look:

Badgley Mischka Elia for $200 with free overnight shipping at Endless.com.

Nine West Fancywork for $89 at Ninewest.com.  Get $20 off $75 with coupon code NWHOLD9 (exp. unknown) and shipping is free.

This pair looks like the shoe version of Gretchen’s sequin dress:

Betsey Johnson Kanata on sale for $152 (reduced from $200) at Zappos with free shipping.

Update: See the pair that looks like Gretchen’s ALDO boots from Watch What Happens Live.

Let’s move on to Teresa Giudice, who shows off a wide array of shoes in her closet.  Teresa has a sophisticated style, but she likes to keep up with the very latest in fashion.  She tells In Touch, “Lots of people buy classic items, and they keep them forever.  But I’m more trendy, so my stuff sometimes goes out of style.”  She also likes to keep things spicy – we see plenty of zebra, leopard and other animal prints in her wardrobe, along with plenty of bold colors and prints.  Here are a few shoes seen in Teresa’s closet:

Christian Louboutin Lace Bootie for $1,785 at Neiman Marcus.  I couldn’t see the back of the shoe, so it could be the leopard Christian Louboutin Bridget for $1,795 at Barney’s (only 1 size 10 left right now).  This is definitely the “it” shoe of the moment.  Update: Check out the Christian Louboutin Bridget lookalike shoe that I found for much less.

Pelle Moda Vino for $180 with $5 shipping at Jildor. 

Miss Sixty Callista for $75.60 at 6pm. 

Here are some shoes inspired by Teresa’s style:

Sergio Zelcer Covos Peek Toe Pump for $182.95 at Endless

Naughty Monkey Chiller in zebra for $74.90 with free overnight shipping at Endless.

Wet Seal Metallic Pink Heel for $24.50 at Wet Seal.

Two Lips Gypsy Lace Platform Bootie for $69.95 at DSW.  Members use code SNOWMAN at checkout for free shipping on $35.

Last, but certainly not least, is Kim Zolciak, who always goes all out with fashion and prefers a luxe look with plenty of bling and sex appeal.  She tells In Touch that she owns a whopping 1,000 pairs of shoes and that her favorite brand is, not surprisingly, Christian Louboutin.  She says, “They are so uncomfortable, but they’re so hot, so I love them.”  She likes to mix it up with other high-end names too – I spotted the same Louis Vuitton heel that Leighton Meister wore to the Met Ball, another Louis Vuitton tribal-look heel that may be this shoe from Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear, her red and gold feather shoes (I think these are Louboutin, but not sure), the Louboutin glitter heels, and the YSL Tribute Platform Mary Jane, which is not available for sale online, but you can see a pic over at FabSugar.  Clearly, these are amazing shoes, but not readily available at prices most people can afford, so here’s a few “inspired-by” pairs:

Miss Sixty Jessica for $99 with free shipping at Zappos.

Martinez Valero Brit for $148.95 with free overnight shipping at Endless.

Stuart Weitzman Avalon silver glitter heel for $355 at Zappos.

Pleaser Dolly for $39 at Amazon.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode, are you?

Show photos from Bravotv.com

Last-minute holiday shoe sales & discounts + shipping deadlines

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner and, if you haven’t put the finishing touches on your holiday shopping yet, there’s no worries.  Many retailers are still offering guaranteed shipping by the big day as the final countdown to Christmas begins, plus some nice discounts and sales to boot.  Here’s a rundown of some of the best ones I’ve seen so far, along with the shipping deadlines you’ll need to know to get your order delivered by Christmas:

6pm: Up to 55% off Steve Madden shoes, Fitzwell shoes for $7.95, 55% off Ulu footwear, 60% off AK Anne Klein shoes, 55% off New Balance, all Nine West shoes for $29.95 and more until 12/27/09.  Get free shipping on $100 or more until 12/1/09.  The deadline for standard shipping has passed, so get expedited shipping if you need your order by Christmas.

Bebe: Buy 1 full-priced item, get 50% off a second item using coupon code GET50OFF until 12/25/09.  Or, get 15% off $100 or more with code 15OFF100 until 12/24/09.  Shipping is also free with no minimum for a limited time. For standard shipping, order by 12/21/09 at 12 pm PST for Christmas delivery.  Otherwise, you’ll pay extra for express or overnight options.  Update: Bebe is offering $10 flat-rate overnight shipping for orders placed by 12/22/09 at 12 pm PST (3 pm ET).

 

Endless.com: Order by 12/23/09 at 5 pm PST for delivery by Christmas on any item that qualifies for overnight shipping.

Karmaloop: 20% off any order and free shipping on $50 or more with code STARDUST (exp. 1/1/10).  Or, check out their selection of Secret Sale shoes, which are reduced 30% using code SECRET at checkout.  They are offering a free 2-day shipping upgrade, no code required, until 12/22/09 at noon or use code 30HAM to get 30% off and the free 2-day shipping upgrade.

Onlineshoes: 20% off select regularly-priced items with coupon code 9CHEER at checkout.  Most shoes and gifts will arrive by Christmas using free standard shipping by 12/21/09.  They are also offering 3-day shipping for $2.99 or 2-day shipping for $5.99.

Payless: 15% off with coupon code 30241 until 1/2/10.  The deadline for holiday delivery using standard shipping has passed, but place your order by 12/20/09 at 8 pm ET using expedited shipping or by 12/21/09 at 8 pm ET using rush shipping for Christmas delivery.

Shoebuy: 20% off with coupon code SHOP and free shipping.  Expiration is unknown and Shoebuy does not mention holiday shipping deadlines on their site, so it may be best to pay extra for faster shipping at this point.  Update: Coupon code EXPRESS will upgrade your shipping to express shipping for items in the Last Minute Gift Shop.

Shoemall: Free upgrade to 2-day shipping on any order when you select standard shipping at checkout.  Order by 12/21/09 for holiday delivery.  Also through the 21st, get 20% off slippers using code SLIPPER or 20% off accessories using code COLDXMAS at checkout.  There are more coupons listed on the homepage.

Shoes.com: 20% off with coupon code HOLIDAY20 until 12/21/09 or ENJOY09 until 12/31/09.  They are offering free guaranteed holiday delivery through 12/21/09 at 3 pm CST.

Steve Madden: Free express shipping on all orders, plus an additional 30% off orders of $59.95 or more using coupon code COUNTDOWN30 at checkout through 12/21/09.  It looks like you can order in-stock items through the 21st for holiday delivery, which takes 2-3 days, but see their shipping information for more details.

I will be adding and updating this list during the week, so be sure to check back for more!

 
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