There are tons of “Social Shopping” sites out there that let users discuss their experiences, desires and purchases for just about anything from fashion to camping gear. From a shoe-lover’s perspective, I can greatly appreciate these sites because of the user reviews. Think about it. When your trying on an adorable pair of stilettos in the store, they are your best friend, but the wrong pair of high-heels can become your nightmare after a couple of hours strutting around in them. Having someone review the shoes before I buy them and find this out can be incredibly useful to shoe loving ladies like myself!
Sites like Stylehive, Crowdstorm, and ThisNext gave users ways to make product recommendations and discuss things they’d like to have, sharing their desires and buying intentions, according to Springwise. Then other sites came out that actually let shoppers share, show-off, and discuss the things they have actually purchased.
Sites like Teethyou.com (originally launched in China around 2007) give shopping fans a place for showing off what they’ve actually purchased.
Following them was Blippy which allows users to automatically share their credit card purchases, the amount and in some cases the item. Then, their friends can comment and see what their friends are buying. Personally, I think that is kind of creepy and just one more way to say, “Steel my credit card, please!” One benefit to this type of service, however, is being able to see what others are paying for the same thing, that way you always know if your getting ripped off or if you getting a killer deal. Just imagine going to a store and seeing a hot pair of shoes retailing at $250 and then logging into your smartphone app to see that someone else just bought the same pair of shoes online for $150? I can see the value in that as it adds tremendous transparency to the purchasing process by facilitating reviews and comparisons.
One of the newest kids on the block, Justbought.it adds geolocation and an augmented reality twist. Like everything else, the site lets users take photos of their purchases on their smartphones, share them with friends through Facebook and Twitter and comment on the purchases others have made. The twist and area in which they differentiate is two-fold:
1. Google Maps integration that allows users to find local friends and deals and see what/where people are buying on a map.
2. Augmented reality version soon to be launched on the Android that lets users walk into a store and see what others on the site have already purchased.
The company’s strategy is to forge partnerships with online retailers to enable tweets on the site whenever consumers buy something. Mashable compares the site to StockTwits in that Justbouth.it attempts to establish a community around something people are already using- Twitter.
The big barrier to entry they must face is getting users on board and excited about using it. Before they can really grow their user base and exploit the value of geo-coded tweets and the augmented reality they need to get the Android and Blackberry version up! Currently they only have an iPhone app. Further, it helps that you can sign up for an account using either your Facebook or Twitter account to start socially shopping. If your interested in seeing if it’s useful for you, the site provides “5 reasons” for people to sign up.
Despite the fact that I’m still a crackberry user, I’ll be signing up anyway just to see what the buzz is about.
Congratulations to Geox founder and Chairman Mario Polegato for being named Innovator of the Year this Wednesday at the CNBC European Business Leaders Awards. Judges cited him for having “broken new ground in developing a ‘fashionable brand with new technology. ‘”
Geox offers men’s, women’s and children’s footwear lines with a focus on breathable materialization. Polegato founded the company in 1995 and named it Geox, a mixture of the Greek word “geo” for earth and “x” a letter element symbolizing technology.
Polegato was originally groomed to take over the family wine-making business. Fate took a turn while on a break jogging in Reno at a wine industry conference. His feet got hot from the exertion and he had the idea to cut a couple holes i the soles for his shoes with a Swiss Army Knife. Then, he developed the idea into a viable product with the help of a small leather goods business his family owned.
He went on to multiple unsuccessful attempts at pitching his invention to several established footwear manufacturers. They weren’t into it (this happens a lot, I know from experience..). Nevertheless, he didn’t give up and after passing the market testing phase for his line of children’s footwear, Polegato began large-scale production of shoes under the Geox name. The same year he improved the original patent and extended into men’s and women’s footwear.
Today Geox is heavily invested in innovation. At their R&D facilities, 15 engineers, chemists, and physicists are employed in research on perspiration and human generated heat-movement patterns (according to Wikipedia).
Geox’s headquarters are in Italy, with factories in Romania, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Slovenia, India, Macau, and South Korea. Read more about the story in Footwear News.
The interesting thing about this story is how close it hits to home and how simple a concept it was that allowed Polegato to transform an idea into a prospering business and a brand standing for innovation and comfort. The other interesting thing is that this award went to someone in the footwear industry- not someone in technology or alternative energy or something like that- It went to footwear. The bottom line is that there is still so much improvement to be made to this industry that has been around since hunter gatherers were…
This story not only hits close to home for me but for anyone with the simplest idea to improve an age old product. It took Polegato years and resilience past tons of rejection to get to this recognition and this point. The day he received the award not only marked a day for Polegato’s career but for the footwear industry as a whole. Congrats Polegato, Italy, and Geox for all their hard work!
Just goes to show, there is still much to be improved upon in footwear. Stay tuned!
Imagine one day having the idea for a unique style pair of high-heels or imagine that you buy this really adorable handbag but you can’t seem to find the right pair of shoes to match anywhere. Now imagine that instead of searching all over the internet or in the mall for the perfect pair of shoes to match that you can simply just design the perfect pair on your computer, hook up the file to your 3D printer, and then print out the shoes.
I’m drooling just thinking about it. In fact, we’re not that far from that day. Designer Pauline Van Dongen shows us this with her Metamorphosis line which debuted at the Future of Fashion Exhibition in Amsterdam. The shoes have all been printed in 3D with powdered nylon that’s been fused together by a computer-generated laser and they look absolutely amazing.
Just a couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on another student who did something similar by printing unique footwear. Well, this is proof that change is kicking into motion something that brings an entirely new future to the fashion industry. I’m excited!
Lucchesse is known for being an inconic wester bootmaker and this Spring he’ll be focusing on cowgirls with a limited edition collection called Diva.
Although the boots are made in the US., each style cowgirl boot is named after an italian woman, such as Agostina, for a 13-inch stonewashed boot, etc. Lucchesse anticipates more styles available soon- depending on how the ladies respond to the Diva line.
Keeping the collection hot, new looks will be released every 3-4 weeks- nothing that three new lasts that were created for the program couldn’t create, according to Maria Vega, Lucchesse’s director of marketing. The Dive line is built on a 3/4-welt construction and feature a toe box with a gentle spring while upper designs include distressed vintage western looks with colorful overlays, underlays, and scrunch effects.
Retail prices for the boots range from $300-$500 and will be sold with a distribution focus in western shops, resorts, hotels, etc.
Last but not least, promotion for the line will consist of an online contest where cowgirls can download template patters and submitt designs. Contestants can also give their submission an edge by telling a story behind the design and giving the boot an Italian woman’s name – like the Diva line does. All entries must be postmarked no later than March 22 and the winners will receive custom made boots along with their design story and photo of the boot on the Lucchesse newsletter, on the website and Facebook!
Steven Madden Ltd. is about to tie up another celebrity deal.
Multiple sources told Footwear News last week the company is teaming up with Iconix Brand Group Inc. and Macy’s Inc. to produce the shoes for Madonna’s new Material Girl juniors’ line, set to launch exclusively at Macy’s in August.
Last week, the superstar and Iconix announced the formation of a joint venture called MG Icon LLC. A number of projects are expected to bow as part of the partnership, with the Material Girl line hitting first.
“Footwear and accessories are going to be an essential part of the Material Girl collection,” said Iconix CEO Neil Cole. “Footwear is an easy way for juniors to change their look, and we are going to offer them a wide array of trend-right items that will fit into their style.”
For their part, analysts were upbeat on Iconix’s newest partnership, even though they were unsure how much of an impact it would have in the near term.
“We believe this deal offers a number of positives for the company and is a somewhat risk-free way to increase its star power and drive upside,” Eric Beder, SVP at Brean Murray, Carret & Co, wrote in a note. The analyst expects Iconix to continue to aggressively pursue acquisitions to “maximize its over $200 million cash hoard.”
For the past couple years footwear companies have been taking an initiative to reduce the impact on the environment and one of the simplest ways is the packaging. For instance, in 2006 Timberland proposed a completely new plan to not only reduce their environmental impact but inspire others to do the same. Some of their proposal included the following:
• The “nutritional label” that will inform consumers about Timberland’s environmental and community impact.
• Footwear boxes made of 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste fiber.
• Footwear boxes using no chemical glues and only soy-based inks to print labels.
• Messaging inside the box that asks consumers “what kind of footprint will you leave” and provides a call to action for them after purchase.
One things big footwear companies have trouble getting around is the box shape container each shoe comes in and a lot of this has to do with shipping because boxes have always been the most efficient, and cardboard paper has always been the least costly and most effective. I did a search of footwear packaging and this patent filed in ’95 shows another idea for the packaging- but one that could do some damage to shoes from shipping dock to dock.
But when it comes to special edition footwear, Nike doesn’t care about the “box” rule. For instance, the Nike Clot Air Force 1 comes in a special Chinese Candy Box™ packaging set.
So when it comes to cutting down on paper and adding in terms of innovation, Crisp has some ideas up our sleeves as well. Stay tuned.
You know you’re in love when everything, I mean, everything, is simply more beautiful.
That is honestly how I’ve felt for the past year or so and perhaps that is why I have given credit to more shoes that I should have :/
I sincerely apologize for endorsing anything ugly….I blame being in love.
Breakups are hard times in many ways.
Just broke up with potentially what I thought was the love of my life.– Sad day, or week, or month, for Tall Short Girl indeed.
Nevertheless, we always must look at the bright side. There are breakups, which can be sad…and then happy (they’re called breakups because it was broken, silly).
…there are beginnings which are just plain happy. Beginnings happen when breakups should have happened a long time ago, but you never let it happen because you chose to learn some stuff along the process. . . This is a beginning.
This, for me, is a beginning which calls for a celebration of cock…tails. (what?!) and stilettos (or flats…honestly, it doesn’t really matter- just bring fun, friends, and maybe champagne). Or maybe just one fun night out with the girls to get me through it.
Nevertheless, the bottom line is, when you are feeling low, get high (I mean, put on your high heels, but perceive it however you wish… ) Because, the truth is, nothing real is ever lost and nothing real can be broken.
It is that simple.
In fact, love is simple and when it starts to feel complicated that is your red flag to let the relationship go.
It is just like a pair of beautiful high heels.
They look good, feel sexy, and make you feel on top of the world – – – but, if they start to steal your thunder, it is time to let them go and move on to something better that compliments you- not compromises.
So, if you happen to find the pair of heels that compliments -not compromises- that’s love and that’s a keeper. Hang on to that pair, or mate, whatever I was talking about…(was I talking about Louboutin’s? I can’t remember. …)