Insider: Shoe Stopper… Live From DC… Party On…

Shoe Stopper
Reports are still unconfirmed, but there is a good chance President Barack Obama wore Allen Edmonds’ patent Hyde formal-wear shoes to the inaugural balls last Tuesday. According to Marketing Director Colin Hall, the president’s team had contacted the company for shoes, though no one from the new administration had yet gotten back to them with a definite answer, which is probably a good thing. “I’m sure they’re swamped with more important things right now,” said Hall. “We don’t know yet, but we’re hopeful. [Regardless], they’re interested in building a relationship, which is great.” But let’s face it, most fashion-curious eyes were fixed last week on Michelle Obama, who made Jimmy Choo the first shoe of the First Lady when she wore four different pairs to events surrounding the 44th inauguration. Mrs. Obama donned the Jade pump in black patent for the “We Are One” concert on Jan. 18, and the same shoe in green patent for the Kids Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19. To the swearing-in ceremony, she wore JC’s green patent Glacier pumps to accent her yellow outfit designed by Isabel Toledo. Later that evening, the striking First Lady attended the inaugural balls in a pair of white satin Dale sandals to match her white chiffon gown by Jason Wu. For her part, Choo founder and President Tamara Mellon was humbled by the high-profile sighting. “We are proud that Michelle Obama chose to wear Jimmy Choo on such a momentous occasion,” she said. “She is an icon and a role model for women around the world.”

In other inauguration shoe news, Keen outfitted the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus with a mix of styles, including the Kootenay WP, Brandon Boot WP and Blackcomb, for their performance at the swearing-in ceremony for the new president. Reps for the Chorus specifically requested Keen shoes for the event. “They contacted us to see if we could outfit the boys, and we were happy to do it,” said VP of marketing Bobbie Parisi. “It was a minor thing in a big day, but it was pretty special to us.”

Live From DC CEO Tony Hsieh had many in the footwear industry feverishly clicking the refresh button on their Web browsers last Tuesday, as he provided live Twitter feed from the inauguration in Washington, D.C.  Even as he participated in the historic ceremony, sitting just 150 feet from the podium, Hsieh still had shoes on the brain. “You can feel everyone’s energy and excitement here at Inauguration,” he wrote in one post. “Over 1 million people estimated here. That’s a lot of shoes.” In other posts, Hsieh chose a more poetic tone. “Speechless witnessing millions of people cheering in unison. From a distance, they look like a shimmering sea of red and white confetti.”

Party On
Sole Technology threw a rock ’n’ roll rager at L.A.’s Viper Room on Jan. 15 to celebrate the release of skater Braydon Szafranski’s (at left) signature Emerica Pro shoe. About 500 friends and family, including actor and budding music mogul Ryan Gosling, turned out for drinks and live performances from The Goat & The Occasional Others and Ima Robot. Emerica brand marketing manager Timothy Nickloff praised Braydon’s accomplishments, including being named Transworld Skateboarding’s Rookie of the Year in 2006. “If anyone has truly earned a skate shoe with their name on it, it’s our man Braydon,” he said.


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