Fashion Bloggers Step into Footwear Design

Footwear producers and fashion bloggers are building symbiotic relationships, teaming up to create one-offs or entire collections based on the bloggers’ styles. “I would love to continue to seek out more opportunities in the fabulous world of footwear,” Leandra Medine of the blog Man Repeller told Footwear News in September, when she announced her first footwear collaboration: a limited-edition, flamingo-adorned smoking slipper she conceptualized for emerging Miami-based brand Del Toro. The new style will hit the brand’s e-commerce site by early December. And now, Medine is on her second venture, called Sixby6. She and five other bloggers designed their dream shoes for footwear company Six London in partnership with the e-commerce site Farfetch.com. Here’s a closer look at the Sixby6 collection and two other blogger collaborations.

Six London
London-based showroom and footwear producer Six London, in collaboration with e-tailer Farfetch.com, tapped six bloggers — Susie Lau of Style Bubble; Steve Salter of Style Salvage; Alix of The Cherry Blossom Girl; Caroline of Carolines Mode; Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller; and Yvan Rodic of Face Hunter — to each create his or her “ultimate shoe.” The styles, which run the gamut from chukka boots to stilettos and carry price points of $328 to $608, will be available at Farfetch.com and Six London’s e-commerce site starting on Nov. 22. “These bloggers have very individual and authoritative views on fashion, and Six [is a] master in execution,” Farfetch founder Jose Neves said in a statement. But Lau, of Style Bubble, added that she thinks of her contribution, a lime-green and lilac platform, as “a souped-up DIY project that has been facilitated by Six London.” “I’m thrilled that I get to realize a shoe that probably only [I] will have the desire to wear,” she said. “I don’t want people to think I’m making assumptions about being a designer.”

Shoedazzle.com has partnered with celebrities such as Kristen Bell and Carson Kressley for its monthly ShoeDazzle Cares charity program since it launched in April, but the e-commerce site recently brought aboard its first blogger: Perez Hilton. Hilton, whose CocoPerez blog covers celebrity fashion, created a studded black platform pump and a silver unisex sneaker, dubbed Sparkle & Shine, to benefit the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. “We decided to work with Perez because he is so influential [in the fashion world],” said ShoeDazzle spokeswoman Kristin Levsky. “We like to partner with people to whom fashion is important, and we liked [Hilton’s] strong voice, platform and sense of style.” She added that ShoeDazzle would consider working with other well-known fashion bloggers in the future. The two Perez Hilton styles, which retail at $40, are available through November on ShoeDazzle’s site.

Sebago’s latest blogger project is still partially under wraps, but brand collaborator and Booji footwear founder MDot Booji told FN that she and Sebago are working with female bloggers from New York, Paris, Berlin and San Francisco for a fall ’12 women’s collection. “Fashion bloggers are exposed to so many products; they tend to have a very critical eye,” Booji said. “They know what they want in a product. They are also bound to take more risks in the development of a product [given that] they’re not thinking with a footwear developer mindset. Most important, fashion bloggers have their audience look to them for fashion advice. When a footwear brand brings in a fashion blogger to create a product, they plug into their audience and connect with them.”

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