Buzz: Cobra Society, Luv & More

Book It
Twenty-five designers fill more than 200 pages in the new mini paperback “New Shoes: Contemporary Footwear Design.” A collection of shoe sketches, photography and background stories provide a look into the design process behind selected footwear lines. Chosen for their edgy creations, the designers include Minna Parikka (and her lace-up ankle-skimming boots) and Guillaume Hinfray (and his peep-toe platform sandals). Co-author Sue Huey said the idea behind the book, first released in hardcover in June 2007, was to showcase emerging talent rather than well-known designers or vintage footwear. “We also thought it was important to focus on the design process of each of the designers, from [the] first sketch to [the] prototype and the finished shoe,” Huey said.

Brand New Boots
Cobra Society designer Alex Davis has combined modern geometric shapes with traditional woven designs to create her debut collection of boots for fall ’11. Female artisans from a village in Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains weave kilim fabrics to create the shaft for each boot, while the Goodyear-welted boots are made in Spain. The Los Angeles-based brand offers four different styles: the Otto bootie (above), the mid-calf Alcazar, the knee-high Marley and the over-the-knee Zeus. Davis comes from a PR background and has worked at Stella McCartney and Bismarck Phillips. Cobra Society boots will be sold internationally in such stores as Restir in Toyko; Le 66 in Paris; A Man & A Woman in New York; Gallerie in Aspen, Colo.; Katia Boutique in Houston; and online at Net-a-porter.com. Retail prices range from $795 to $1,195.

Art Appreciation
Industry veterans Maggie Finneran and Michael Toschi this fall will launch Luv, a women’s and kids’ collection. The line revolves around a single silhouette: a lightweight EVA ballet flat featuring a Lycra upper for adults and a Mary Jane buckle for toddlers. The shoes will be detailed in graphics, photo reproductions and original work by graffiti and tattoo artists. Luv also will invite girls ages 8 to 18 (the brand’s target audience) to submit original work for use, said Finneran. Winners will receive a $1,500 education endowment. Taking the initiative a step further, the San Carlos, Calif.-based brand plans to sponsor art exhibits, contests and scholarships through sales of the shoes. Set to retail for $30 to $60, Luv will be available in European sizes 24 to 41, with additional looks in stretch velvet and patent. The line delivers in October to retailers including Underground Station and Nordstrom. A companion collection of hats and T-shirts will debut for spring ’12, with luggage and fragrances in the works.

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