Insider: Independent Spirit, Twitter Talk

Twitter Talk
Drinks were on Zappos.com last week, when the Las Vegas-based etailer took Manhattan for the 140 Characters Conference on Twitter. CEO Tony Hsieh didn’t tell the twitterverse until the day before, but Insider suspects the Zappos tweetup at the Hudson Hotel was no impromptu affair: Name tags and drink tickets — a generous two per attendee — were already prepared for any of the Zappos followers who showed up. Tech lovers and fashion fans mingled with Twitter celebs including @wholefoods and Los Angeles-based lifecaster @iJustine, who told Insider she had forgotten all eight pairs of shoes she had intended to bring to New York. “All I had were some ratty sneakers. I had to run out today to buy these,” she said, gesturing to her chic chunky sandals. (Seems like a certain someone at a Zappos tweetup should have been able to help her out with that, no?) Hsieh, clutching drink tickets for distribution, seemed happy with the turnout. “You never know who you’re going to get,” he said. “Could be 50, could be 200.” Could this one have set a record? When Insider left, there was a line of smartphone gazers waiting to get in.

Independent Spirit
Raphael Young was given the first shoe honor at the annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, held last week in Manhattan at the New York Historical Society. The prize? His winning design — a sky-high woven platform heel — will be produced by Sam Edelman Shoes in partnership with Foot Petals. Though Edelman and Young were MIA (Edelman was traveling; Young hard at work in Paris), a rep for the younger designer told Insider she couldn’t wait to break the news to him. “He’s going to be so excited,” she gushed. Stay tuned for price info on the limited-edition shoe, which will retail at Verve in Manhattan’s West Village. The footwear accolade was one of eight honors bestowed at the awards, which were launched in 2007 by Emily Blumenthal, a professor at Parsons The New School for Design.

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