‘Women Who Rock’ Event Brings Out Shoe Leaders to Discuss Female Empowerment, Entrepreneurship

Last night FN in partnership with Two Ten’s WiFi hosted its premiere “Women Who Rock” event at the Redbury Hotel in New York City, coinciding with the release of this week’s “Women in Power Issue.” The occasion brought together leading players in the shoe industry to engage in dialogue centered around empowering women, including a conversation between actress Debra Messing and shoe designer and CEO Faryl Robin Morse.

Kicking off the soiree was a cocktail hour where footwear executives and guests networked whilst enjoying light bites and specialty “Rockin Tonic” drinks. Shortly after, guests convened for back-to-back panels which discussed topics including women supporting other women, launching a new brand, product development and more.

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Inside the venue.
CREDIT: Patrick MacLeod

Libby Edelman, co-founder, Sam Edelman, and Sandi Mines, VP and publisher of FN, shared opening remarks before FN executive editor Katie Abel jump-started the first panel as moderator. While speaking with Susanne Botschen, co-founder of luxury e-commerce destinations MyTheresa.com and MarthaLouisa.com, footwear designer Chloe Gosselin and designer Suzanne Rae Pelaez, Abel discussed shifting trends, fusing art with socioeconomic matters and more.

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Katie Abel, left, in conversation with Susanne Botschen during the event’s first panel.
CREDIT: Patrick MacLeod

“Finding your niche and where you excel takes time. Even as designers we’ve changed but finding that niche and sticking to it is one of the biggest challenges,” said Gosselin on navigating the obstacles of entrepreneurship.

In response to naming today’s top trends, Pelaez said, “practicality is chic.” “Right now this is the trend and people are embracing that which reflects the sign of the times,” she explained.

For the second panel, gal-pals Messing and Morse dove deeper into the importance of women saying no and just plain being “nicer” to other women, as Messing puts it.

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Debra Messing, left, and Faryl Robin in conversation at the event.
CREDIT: Patrick MacLeod

“It’s taken me a long time to give myself the gift of saying ‘no I can’t do that’ and to not feel guilty about it” said the “Will and Grace” star. “If you feel guilty about saying no then you’re buying into the idea that you should be able to do everything for everybody and that’s wrong.”

Morse also added words regarding her future plans. “I want women to be educated and I want the companies we work in to benefit from us. And I want a cleaner system and a tech center in my office and all these big things. And that’s what we are going to do. Because I want a green office and I want really cool s**t,” she said.

The “Women Who Rock” event was sponsored by Keds, Bluescape, Dansko, FN Platform, Zappos, Caleres, New Balance and Wolverine.

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