Letter From the Editor: Write Stuff

Welcome to our snazzy new home.

This week marks a bright new chapter in the storied history of Footwear News. Our sweeping redesign, the result of many hours of collective brainstorming between the editorial and art teams, is a huge step up for a magazine that has served the industry for more than 65 years. Bolder, better and more impactful, the new FN is now a printed reality.

We believe the finished product achieves the lofty goal we set: to enhance the powerful content we are famous for in a more visual and attention-grabbing format. Over the next few weeks, the new look will be fine-tuned and enhanced as we adjust to our surroundings.

This issue launches the revamped FN with a bang, offering a heady mix of big-picture ideas, trend stories and power player access that is our trademark formula.

We chose to profile footwear’s rising star, Nicholas Kirkwood, in our debut issue for many reasons. He is the most promising of the new design talents, and his story also dovetails with FN’s commitment to supporting young designers.

Kirkwood clearly understands the challenging business from all sides. His rapid ascent isn’t an accident. Kirkwood marries a love of the new with a proper respect for the great artists who have come before him. He is both a visionary and a historian, with one foot firmly in the future and the other in the past, paying tribute to the time-honored craft of designing and building beautiful shoes.

Kirkwood and his contemporaries represent a dazzling future for a business that keeps getting hotter. From designer collaborations to mergers-and-acquisitions and new startups, the shoe market is on fire. We believe our new look is just the right showcase for capturing all the excitement and heightened passion in the business, from high-end to low, retail to wholesale.

For example, the new Insider section marries our long tradition of insightful analysis of the week’s breaking news, access to the industry’s leaders and the latest scoops. We lead off with a behind-the-scenes look at the week’s top story, the sale of Timberland. Unlike other news outlets, we probe beneath the headlines to examine the deal from Jeffrey Swartz’s perspective. The Swartz family has run the brand for 59 years, and the sale to VF marks an important turning point for both the iconic label and the industry at large.

Our new Features section puts the emphasis on lush fashion photography and long-form journalism. In this debut issue, we offer a dazzling showcase of 14 of the best resort shoes in the market. With the redesign, we have dramatically stepped up our commitment to showing off the great work of the world’s best designers.

The story doesn’t end there. The new Markeplace section increases our bandwidth, allowing FN to cover a diverse set of markets, product trends, personalities and the smart retailers. With bolder photography and new story treatments designed to make the information come to life in the hands of the reader, we offer a fresh take on FN’s wide-ranging market coverage. The section closes with our pick of the week: an elegant shoe, a cool store or a news-making personality that we feel deserves the spotlight.

Our strong editorial voice has kept this publication on top of the industry for more than six decades. Our new design brings it alive. Enjoy!

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