FN Spy: Feting Bergdorf… Catching Up With “The Housewives”

Celebrate Good Times
Bergdorf Goodman knows how to celebrate. In honor of the luxury retailer’s 111th birthday, more than 100 designers created an exclusive collection of footwear, ready-to-wear, handbags, home items and a fragrance. From the shoe salon, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti and others took part. “It’s the most important store in America and it’s one of the first places I began my career,” said Blahnik, who designed a crystal-covered bootie that he described as “a cake lit up in celebration of Bergdorf.” Aquatalia, Charlotte Olympia and Brian Atwood outfitted their creations in purple, paying homage to the store’s iconic shopping bag. “I love celebrating things that have been such a part of people’s lives and history,” Atwood told Spy. “You never forget the first time you shopped at Bergdorf.” Stuart Weitzman, who created a leather and leopard calf-hair boot, also praised the store’s influence. “Bergdorf Goodman is recognized worldwide as being one of the great temples of shoes,” he said. Exclusive styles from Tod’s, Valentino and Jimmy Choo also will hit the floor at the department store on Fashion’s Night Out.

Housewife Duo
Adrienne Maloof and Lisa Pliner are not your average housewives. Although both have ties to Bravo’s popular “Real Housewives” series (Maloof as a star of the Beverly Hills franchise and Pliner through a cameo role in Miami), the ladies are also friends and shoe designers focused on building their brands. But as with any housewife, drama seems to always intervene. Pliner said she was unfairly called a “liar” by one of the Miami stars throughout the five episodes she will be featured in starting next week. But on her last appearance on the show, before relocating to Los Angeles, Pliner still hosted the Miami housewives for a farewell runway and trunk show at her home. Meanwhile, Maloof, who is rumored to be in talks with NBC (Bravo’s parent company) to launch a spin-off reality show about her family businesses, continues to develop her shoe line with Titan Industries Inc. In response to requests for lower heels, Maloof has incorporated more flats and kitten heels for holiday. As for whether the entrepreneur wears any platform-less heels on her upcoming shows, she said, “Well, that’s another story.”

From the Archive
Reebok is boosting its Classics line with even more star power. In addition to the recent re-release of Allen Iverson’s Question style, a lot more is in store, said the brand, which hosted appearances by Rick Ross, Dominique Wilkins, Tyga, Swizz Beatz and Iverson at the recent Project trade show in Las Vegas. (This was followed by a performance by Ross later that night at the MGM Grand.) The Reebok team sounded off on shoe memories and what’s on deck. Former NBA player Wilkins, who had a hand in the re-release of his Twilight Zone Pump last month, recalled fond memories of his basketball heyday. “Michael Jordan and I had a rivalry,” he said. “He didn’t like it when I threw his shoes in the trash.” Ross said he, too, is working on a sneaker. “I’m going to let you all name it,” said the rapper. “What do you say, ‘Rosé?'”

Marathon Shopping

Sanya Richards-Ross is shedding her athletic gear for some designer duds. The Olympic champion, fresh off her two track & field gold medals in London, tried on footwear and apparel from Rachel Roy’s resort ’13 collection during a stop at the designer’s Manhattan showroom last week. “[Sanya] was definitely drawn towards the vibrant colors,” Roy said. “She looked incredible in my architectural detailed heels, although I must say, [she] would look amazing in any of my shoes. She has legs of steel.” And Richards-Ross’ personality is a good fit for both bold and ladylike styles, according to Roy. “What I love about Sanya is that she is not afraid to take risks when it comes to fashion,” the designer said. “She is able to mix patterns and textures while still conveying a minimalist point of view.”

Mind the Store

Pink & Pepper is about to call New York home. The Marc Fisher Footwear brand will open its first store on Mott Street Wednesday. “We are so excited about the Pink & Pepper launch and the great, positive reaction we’ve seen from everyone: retailers and customers, bloggers and editors,” Marc Fisher President Susan Itzkowitz told Spy. “Opening a fun, exciting store to showcase the collection is a very important step in building the brand.” Pink & Pepper will celebrate the shop with a Fashion’s Night Out party hosted by bloggers Bonnie Barton of Flashes of Style and Annabelle Fleur of VivaLuxury and a live performance by Missy Modell. The store will carry the complete Pink & Pepper line, but for those who can’t make it to New York, the brand will launch e-commerce later this month.

Wedding March
David Tutera has already joined the women’s bridal footwear market, but could men’s shoes be next? Tutera, who is launching his namesake line with Antebi Footwear Group LLC early next year, hinted that the men’s market for wedding shoes could use some work, too. For example, at a recent event styled by the star of “My Fair Wedding” on WE TV, the groom wanted to wear Converse sneakers. “This is so not going to happen, nice thought,” joked Tutera, whose latest season of the show debuts this week. “As the brand continues to grow, men’s shoes are important.” As for a preview of upcoming episodes, Tutera said to expect some spills. “Some girls have trouble walking in heels, and one bride unfortunately takes a tumble,” Tutera said while making an appearance at the FN Platform show.

Sale Signs

Let’s make a deal. As the mergers-and-acquisitions market continues to heat up, FN Platform showgoers were buzzing about several companies said to be in play, including Modern Vintage, Charles David and K-Swiss Inc. Also spotted at the show: Former Collective Brands Inc. CEO Matt Rubel, who is working as an adviser at TPG Capital, which has been named as one of the leading contenders for Cole Haan. If that marriage comes to fruition, some executives predicted Rubel could return to the brand he helmed from 1999 to 2005. But financial insiders said there are several other potential acquirers still in the race for the Nike-owned label, including Apax Partners.

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