FN Spy: Brits Make Big Moves… Jessica Alba’s Guest Role

In Step
The runway action might have moved to Paris last week, but everyone was still buzzing about the Brits’ big moves of late. Marigay McKee’s appointment as president of Saks Inc. was applauded by many top footwear players, including Kurt Geiger CEO Neil Clifford. The exec has worked closely with McKee at Harrods, where she has been chief merchant for 14 years. “Wow, what a clever appointment. She is a luxury whirlwind and a really special merchant,” Clifford said over cocktails at The Dorchester in London last week. He was there to toast LVMH’s new man, Nicholas Kirkwood, who was celebrating his major investment deal with the luxury giant. Kirkwood said he will mark the end of the intense negotiations by making some lifestyle changes. At the top of the agenda: getting fit. “I have a personal trainer now, and the workouts are brutal,” the designer admitted. Manolo Blahnik also has endured a tiring schedule recently. Following his much-buzzed-about London presentation — his first ever during fashion week, where he debuted a short film titled “Jealousy” starring Rupert Everett — the designer was back at work in his Italian factory a few days later. And life is about to get even busier for him as he preps a book with Rizzoli for 2014. While Blahnik is used to the spotlight by now, Jimmy Choo’s Sandra Choi is still adapting to being the face of the label since being named sole creative director earlier this year. Choi will make her first major stateside appearance at Bergdorf Goodman in November. “I really enjoy sharing the story of the brand,” she said.

Pack Mentality
Fashion week equals fierce footwear. And for Bergdorf Goodman’s Tracy Margolies, it’s important to travel with the right shoe mix, especially for the transition from London to Milan to Paris. “It’s quite embarrassing, but I packed seven pairs of shoes for 15 days,” said Margolies, SVP and GMM for beauty, contemporary 5F, footwear and handbags. “That’s including sneakers, which I usually pack and never use.” Her favorite style of the moment: “I am loving booties right now and I’m excited about a new pair by Gianvito Rossi,” she said. But not everything she packs finds its way to her feet. “Unfortunately, I never have time for an outfit change, so I usually stay in my heels from sunrise to sunset,” Margolies told Spy. Talk about power walking.

Closet Confessions
Jessica Alba is upping her daily shoe dosage. The star is enjoying more face time with footwear brands as a guest editor for Piperlime.com. So what’s on her feet these days? Alba listed Nicholas Kirkwood, Narciso Rodriguez, Ralph Lauren, Jenni Kayne, Rag & Bone, Aldo and Toms among her favorite brands. “I love shoes because they can transform the mood of any outfit. If I wear a little black dress, I can funk it up, go sleek and sexy or channel Audrey Hepburn, all depending on the heels or wedges or flats I put on before slipping out the door,” she said. “I don’t have one defined shoe style. I love them all.”

Inga’s In
Inga Savits has an edge when it comes to footwear. As a former fashion model who walked the catwalk for Versace, Dior and Thierry Mugler, she has unique insight into the industry. “I consider those years of being on the other side as my school,” said Savits, who previewed the spring ’14 offerings from her 2-year-old namesake brand at Paris Fashion Week and Premiere Classe. “I make all the samples for my own feet. I do know how to walk in the craziest shoes, as I did that for fashion shows. Learning from that, I do my best to make sure the foot is very stable. I prefer to add an extra strap, but [I aim for] a balance between sexy and comfy.” Savits also collaborated with Alexis Mabille again, to create the fringed booties that appeared in his runway show last week. “I’m very happy [with the partnership],” Savits told Spy.

Talking Shop
What’s in store for Zimmermann? More stores. Australian designer Nicky Zimmermann, who created the fashion label with her sister Simone, revealed that new locations are in the works. The brand opened its first New York flagship last year, and, “The store on Mercer Street in Soho is closing and we are opening another one that’s about three times the size. It’s bigger than all of our stores at home [in Australia],” she said. “After that, we want something on Madison and in the West Village. We are hoping that by the end of the year, we will have sorted out at least another two [flagships].”

Twerk Team
It’s no secret that Miley Cyrus is open about her extracurricular activities, but it seems the pop star has a new habit. The 20-year-old singer showed off her rapping chops (and twerking skills) in the music video for “23,” a hip-hop dedication to the Air Jordan by musician Mike Will. In true Michael Jordan form, Cyrus has her tongue out in the video, while wearing Air Jordan Retro Vs and a Jordan jersey-turned-bikini.

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