Buzz: Blake Brody, Jacques Levine & More

Heeling Power
Former nurse Julie Lopez applied her expertise in orthopedics to launch an eponymous collection of high-end fashion-comfort looks from Italy. Soft launched for spring ’13, the offering features a 3-inch platform pump detailed in a variety of materials and colors. Comfort elements include cushioned insoles, side vents enabling feet to breathe and generous toe boxes to accommodate foot issues such as bunions. All shoes incorporate a hidden layer of Lycra between the upper and lining. For fall ’13, the Concord, N.C.-based company will introduce a full line of flats, kitten heels, wedges and peep-toe pumps. The collection, retailing from $355 to $385, is targeted at e-tailers, independents and department stores.

Stepping Out

Blake Brody is taking her women’s line beyond the Pilates studio. The designer, whose In-Studio Footwear collection for indoor workouts launched in 2009, will bow fashion-focused flats for fall ’13. The new eponymous line, with styles starting at $275, includes both casual and office-friendly looks. “I wanted to create a brand-new category of wellness and movement — one that maintains a fashion focus in addition to promoting foot health,” said Brody. “[It] was a natural extension of the brand, providing a fashionable and luxurious option [to wellness-focused flats].”

Back to Boots

This fall, Jacques Levine will bring boots back to its women’s offerings after more than 30 years. Two bootie styles — a wedge and a mid-heel — are made in suede and other contrasting materials and multiple colors, and will retail for $290 to $315. Jacques Levine, which last year went back to its roots to expand the mix beyond its signature slippers, dipped into the archives again for the latest offering. “My grandfather and uncle imported boots from South America in the 1970s,” said the firm’s president, Sam Calvanio. “Looking through old line sheets, I was amazed at how relevant their styles [are] today. Our take adds a sense of individuality to a style that our woman wears as an everyday staple.” The label is also adding kitten-heel constructions with man-tailored details for fall, as well as a larger collection of indoor/outdoor slippers.

Curator’s Choice

Publishing house Phaidon has tapped 10 industry influencers as curators for its latest fashion tome. “Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers, 10 Curators” is a look at the design processes and creations of 100 of the world’s most noteworthy contemporary designers, as curated by 10 high-profile fashion lovers. Footwear standouts include Tabitha Simmons and Gianvito Rossi, selected for inclusion by stylist Keegan Singh; as well as Nicholas Kirkwood (at right), chosen by Imran Amed, founder of website Businessoffashion.com. The 432-page hardcover volume contains more than 1,000 illustrations and will debut on Feb. 15 for $80.