FN Spy: Halloween Haunts…Santoni’s New York Debut

Halloween Haunts
Designers and executives are anticipating a festive Halloween on Friday. Here, they head back in time to remember their favorite childhood costume, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy or a cowboy, and the weirdest treat they ever received — think sunflower seeds or even a rock. Plus, insiders share their plans for Friday, proving that tricks aren’t just for kids.

Betsey Johnson, designe
Costume Pick: The Sugar Plum Fairy. “I never wanted to take my wings off.”
Trickiest Treat: “Anything good for you.”
Horror Flick: “Interview With the Vampire”
Party Plans: Taking the grandkids trick-or-treating

Bruce Emil, creative director, Naya
Costume Pick: [Mikhail] Gorbachev, six years in a row
Trickiest Treat: Invitations to a local cult’s prayer group.
Horror Flick: “Paranormal Activity”
Party Plans: “Vegas, not sure if it will be freakier than normal.”

Cynthia Vincent, designer
Costume Pick: “My daughter was Sleeping Beauty, I was Maleficent.”
Trickiest Treat: Roasted sunflower seeds
Horror Flick: “The Night of the Hunter”
Party Plans: Visiting a pumpkin patch and maze; carving

Gabriel Morales, product director, Seychelles and BC
Costume Pick: A cowboy: ten-gallon hat, chaps and cowboy boots
Trickiest Treat: A paper bag with a rock in it
Horror Flick: “Boris Karloff’s Thriller”
Party Plans: Gigantic block party, kids and adults dress up

Santoni Express
On Thursday night, the New York fashion crowd was out to fête the opening of Santoni’s first North American store. “It had to be on Madison Avenue. Once we found the right spot, it came together unbelievably quickly,” CEO Giuseppe Santoni told Spy of the 972-sq.-ft. location, which will house both the traditional men’s offering and the growing women’s fashion collection. Star architect Patricia Urquiola was charged with the design of the boutique, taking cues from the Via Montepeleone outpost in Milan with a rich palette, tactile velvets and pops of the label’s signature tangerine to match shoe soles. Though his father founded the brand in 1975, the younger Santoni has worked alongside him for the better part of 18 years. He recently unveiled a new campaign styled by Giovanna Battaglia, inked collaborations with Venetian heritage textile house Rubelli and spearheaded retail expansion. “Of course, this presence in New York is incredibly important and something we’ve wanted for quite a while.” After the store event, celebrations continued on with a dinner at the Arlington Club, attended by notables such as actress Abigail Breslin, blogger and designer Eleonora Carisi, Peter Davis, Stefano Tonchi and stylists Kate Moodie and Nicoletta Santoro.

Tourist Time
Is Nicholas Kirkwood a fan of the selfie? The designer traveled from London to Dubai last week, where he fêted his “Shoe Atelier” pop-up at Level Shoe District. “I’ve never been in so many selfies,” Kirkwood said of the event, where he was on hand to sign shoes and greet fans. “It was great meeting so many of the customers and getting to talk to them all.” But it was a quick jaunt for the designer, who traveled in and out in one day. “It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, I was only there for a few hours,” he said. Up next, Kirkwood will set up shop in Beijing. “I’m going there in November for the opening of our shop-in-shop in Shin Kong Place, which is really exciting,” he said. Then he added, “I’m really looking forward to a friend’s wedding in Patagonia in the New Year.”

Oliver’s Twist
A dapper crowd assembled on the covered rooftop of The Nomad Hotel last Tuesday for dinner to welcome Oliver Sweeney’s team stateside. Here to meet with brand loyalists and shoot their latest campaign on Englishman expats, cobbler-in-chief Tim Cooper was happy to plant his custom tattoo brogues in Manhattan. “It’s been four years since I’ve visited, but that’s all about to change,” he said in a spirited toast which referenced the brand’s plans for U.S. expansion. “I want to make this dinner a yearly celebration moving forward.” A third-generation footwear industry veteran, Cooper shared with Spy that his teenage son has also been bitten by the bug. “Oh yes, he has it, and he can naturally sketch shoes. It’s quite something.”

Mixing It Up
Yeardley Smith and fellow footwear insiders Joe Ouaknine and Leslie Gallin recently played host to some footwear friends. “The Simpsons” actress threw open the doors to her Los Angeles home as part of a Two Ten Footwear Foundation fundraiser and industry mixer. “When [COO] Ben Cornwell and I got into the luxury footwear business, we were surprised and delighted by many things,” said Smith, founder of Marchez Vous. “One of them was the tightly knit community that exists at all levels of the business. While we may be competitors, everyone also seems to keep a watchful eye on one another. There are quite a few of us out here. The more we work together, the greater the impact we have in the least amount of time.”

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