The truly fashion savvy know it’s not enough to look fabulous daily — it’s all about looking great digitally as well. And Xbox 360, the highly successful video game system from Microsoft, is partnering with shoe brands to make their flagship footwear styles available for purchase for avatars on Xbox Live. (A side benefit: proving to skeptics that gaming is not just for the boys.) Participating brands — which currently include Adidas, Roxy, Quiksilver and others — can see their shoes appear not only in the Xbox Live virtual world, but on Facebook and other social media sites, which users can access through the game console. The online venture opens up a new channel of branding for footwear labels, according to Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Roxy. “Our girls are living the Roxy lifestyle, which includes gaming, so why not offer the product they crave in real life to their online avatars?” said Kenna Florie, VP of marketing at Roxy. “After all, avatars are a reflection of us.” Since the August release of the new Xbox system, company reps told Footwear News, players have changed their digital outfits more than 150 million times.
— Kristen Henning
The modern-day working man is hungry for more than the usual uniform of khakis and polo shirts. But while men’s spending habits have changed over the years, men’s retail stores are at a standstill, according to author Bertrand Pellegrin, whose book, “Branding the Man: Why Men Are the Next Frontier in Fashion Retail,” offers solutions on how to revamp gentlemen’s stores, with an emphasis on making the shopping experience fun and unique. An expert in retail strategy, Pellegrin has been a brand consultant for Louis Vuitton and Gucci and previously served as Asia-Pacific director of marketing for Lane Crawford Ltd. Priced at $27.50, “Branding the Man” will be available this fall at major bookstores.
— Emma Leighton
Say goodbye to painful nights out all for the sake of looking fabulous in stilettos. With Footzyrolls flats (also known as the rollable shoe) fashionable ladies can easily transport a second pair of comfortable shoes, even in a tiny clutch. The ballet flats come in small, medium and large sizes with a choice of four colors: Shimmery Silver, Black as Night, Glittery Gold and Wedding White. They are packaged with two drawstring shoe bags: one for your high heels while you’re trekking across town or walking to work, and a smaller pouch for the Footzyrolls when you’re ready to switch back again. Or don’t switch at all — several young celebs have worn the rolled flats on the red carpet. Footzyrolls retail for $25 at more than 120 shops, or online at Footzyrolls.com.
New York artist Ryan Humphrey has designed a special window installation for Moschino’s Meatpacking District boutique. This display, titled “Darkness at Sunrise,” may seem a bit morbid for the Italian brand’s cheeky aesthetic, but what results is a black, white and red piece inspired by Moschino’s fall ’09 collection. It was designed in celebration of the Whitney Contemporaries, a group affiliated with the Whitney Museum of American Art that champions emerging artists. Humphrey’s window work got a high-profile public viewing during a cocktail party on Oct. 14, hosted by the Whitney Contemporaries, Vogue and Moschino. That same night, invitees viewed the label’s hot-off-the-runway summer ’10 collection, as well as Humphrey’s other artistic creations. The display is on view until the end of the month.
— Gabrielle Fratangelo