Letter From the Editor: The Big Relaunch

It’s our turn to make news. Big news.

On June 20, the Footwear News editorial team will unveil a sweeping redesign of FN. The profound changes are intended to move the publication firmly into the future. Bold new graphics and imagery, coupled with better paper stock and a new size format will offer readers more information in a faster and more engaging way. The design will showcase all the things that FN is known for: a confluence of great reporting, the latest trends, the freshest talents and the hot-button issues facing the industry.

The retooled magazine comes at a perfect and pivotal moment in the footwear industry. Shoes are scorching hot, and FN’s new look will capture all the excitement and vibrancy happening in the business today. It will be a powerful statement about the power of footwear, at a time when the business is firing on all cylinders and all eyes are on a market that continues to expand and redefine itself.

Underneath the glossy new exterior lies a strategic repackaging of the content that is designed to mirror that heightened activity. The updated FN is cleanly divided into three main sections: The top stories of the week and the key industry power players are positioned up front, with lush fashion spreads and longer-form features in the middle of the magazine, while a host of revamped market-specific pages occupy the latter half of the book.

The new magazine will be easier to navigate both for readers interested in a quick snapshot of the week in footwear and those interested in engaging in longer, more in-depth stories.

The fashion and trend coverage will undergo the most important transformation. In the remake of FN, the shoes are the heroes. To that end, we are making a sizeable investment in better photography and a cleaner shooting approach that puts more detailed information about the latest styles in your hands every week. From the runways of Paris, Milan and New York to the streets of London, Los Angeles and the Big Apple, FN will spotlight the hottest shoes across the globe.

And there is more. In August, the digital companion to FN’s print piece will debut. A totally redesigned website will raise the stakes with more content and a better delivery system for breaking news and fashion information. The site promises to take WWD and FN in a new direction as the emphasis continues to shift to offering more “Real Time” coverage of the fashion industry. I will give you more details closer to the launch date.

The new magazine and website are the latest pieces of the ever-expanding FN brand story. This week, we will wrap the second season of FN Shoe Star, our reality show for young designers sponsored by Brown Shoe Co. Later this summer, we will produce a special supplement for the Outdoor Retailer Show. And in the fall, look for the second Sexy Shoes program, in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue, and an exciting new project with HSN.

To cap a year of change, FN will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the annual Achievement Awards. On Nov. 29, 2011, the biggest names in footwear will gather at the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the year’s best performers and mark a quarter-century of defining moments in footwear. The awards are always a highlight. This year, the event will surely up the ante.

June 20 marks the beginning of a new era for the magazine and for our industry — and we look forward to having you join us for the journey.

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