Looking Back at 2011, Part One

Sam Edelman
Designer, president, Sam Edelman Shoe

Highlight of 2011:
For the Sam Edelman brand, the highlight of 2011 was the expansion into retail, with the success of Palm Beach, Fla., and East Hampton, N.Y., [stores] paving the way for the launch of our Soho store. The brand extensions and licensing, including the incredibly successful launch of our handbag line and the signing of outerwear, sunglasses and five other pending deals were also exciting.

Biggest challenge of 2011:
Usually we’re not honest about our biggest challenges, but certainly the growing pains associated with the huge growth [of the Sam Edelman brand] have made it challenging from time to time. We’ve grown [our New York staff] from 25 to 60 people and we’ve grown from one country to 37 countries. That’s not easy to manage.

Most successful footwear trend of 2011:
I like dress, I like dress, I like dress. That’s the most exciting trend out there.

What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
The first thing I’m looking forward to is spending my 60th birthday with my friends and loved ones in Mexico in January. I’m also looking forward to manifesting all of the great parts of being a division of Brown Shoe Co. The coordination and comingling of efforts for 2012 will just lead us to greater heights. Also Libby [Edelman] just got back from a trip with Soles4Souls, and I think in 2012, the philanthropic efforts for all of us in the shoe business will be more important than they’ve ever been. We all need to take time to give back.

Tony Hsieh

CEO, Zappos.com

Highlight of 2011:
The early stages of our move to downtown Las Vegas and revitalizing the downtown Las Vegas community. We [also] launched our “shop by” feature on the site, giving customers the ability to shop by outfit, style, occasion, trend and more. The Zappos iPhone and iPad apps have been well received. We just launched the ZN app as well, [which is] our new made-for-iPad magazine.

Biggest challenge of 2011:
Early in the year, we faced shipping challenges from China.

Most successful footwear trend of 2011:
Ugg, Hunter Boots and Frye continue to be very strong for us.

What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
The excitement and anticipation around our move [to] downtown [Las Vegas] continues to build. We’re also excited about the growth of our clothing business … [and we] will be rolling out site features to create a more curated shopping experience on Zappos.



Charlotte Olympia Dellal

Designer, Charlotte Olympia

Highlight of 2011:
Winning the British Fashion Award for Accessory Designer.

Biggest challenge of 2011:
Designing a bridal collection that isn’t all white.

Most successful footwear trend of 2011:
Super high heels — I don’t believe they will ever go out of fashion.

What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Opening my store uptown in New York.

David Giordano
Co-founder and co-designer, Pour la Victoire

Highlight of 2011:
For us it is definitely the new partnership with VMG Partners and LBI Entertainment. It is going to put us in a position of tremendous growth in the next few years. We plan on disturbing the shoe and handbag business model as we know it today.

Biggest challenge of 2011:
Maintaining our hyper growth rate for yet another year while being under financed. 

Most successful trend of 2011:
I would go with the smoking slipper … [Hugh] Hefner is finally on trend.

What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Continuing to add more amazing people to work [with], and the commencement of a global marketing campaign for Kelsi Dagger and Pour La Victoire. Now the fun begins!


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