Monday, June 29, 2009



Garment Center, NYC June 29, 2009

We recently had a quick review of some of the trendy labels Agent R.E.D. showroom reps…in its spacious midtown loft in midtown Manhattan.

ROJAS is an edgy casual Los Angeles based label designed by fashion vet Freddie Rojas who has scooped up celebs and regular types as fans. And print editors too…half the samples were out on spec when we stopped by.

For Fall 2009, Holiday and Spring we did preview some well made and affordable separates. We really liked Rojas take on the popular plaids-in tunics, tops and minis.

THREADS 4 THOUGHT is a a best seller for the showroom. The comfy tees, leggings that look like jeans, and artist designed graphics we saw (men’s line) are hip, made in fair trade environments and made from ORGANIC or recycled fibers. Yeah!

PLUS; Two percent of sales, not profits…goes to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the International Rescue Committee.

GESTUZ is Danish line with a “laid back rock chick” and “feminist minimalist” attitude that translates well in the separates we saw..

Top picks…the leather looks and jumpsuits and hope to see more of the collection at the Bread and Butter trade show.

SAN PAULO is a collection that’s modern and fun…but we think the styles will appeal to a broad range of women.

Our favs are the long knit sweaters that are ridiculously low in price …every piece under $150.

Knit jerseys and stylish prints---on cute sleeveless frocks are also stylish.

We couldn’t find a website…but have a feeling this label will be catching on with buyers.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

POETIC LICENCE Fall 2009/Spring 2010


Words, Images Judith Ecochard

For gals that plan their outfits around statement making footwear…

Poetic Licence is a fun collection worth scoping out.

As soon as we walked into the midtown showroom of this division of Consolidated Shoes, exuberant mixed patterns and bold color mashes grabbed our eyeballs.

Boots (an embroidered suede Persuade Me) and wedges, cork bottom peep toes, oversized hardware (zippers) and buckles are some of the distinctive details that we think…sets the brand apart form more conservative lines.

Especially at these price points...topping out at $199-$269 for boots and most shoes falling into the $99-$139 range.

For Spring 2010, look for jeweled sandals, contrast cross stitching, mixed fabrics (fabric/leather, suede/patent) and embellished snakeskin…to bump up t-straps, pumps, wedges and booties with sculptural heels.

RETAIL: In boutiques and online at MUST HAVE SHOES

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MADELINE & NICOLE: Fall 2009/Spring 2010



Words, Images Judith Ecochard


It’s hard to deliver inexpensive footwear-manufactured from manmade materials- that looks like it should cost a whole lot more.

Madeline, a fashion forward collection owned by Consolidated Shoes, manages to deliver the goods-with stylish affordability.

We had a quick run through the showroom and saw lots of flats, pumps, peep toes, and boots in trendy profiles- in on target colors and print patterns.

For Fall 2009 menswear inspired tie oxfords with stacked heels (Deedi) and cute fringed (Celsa) and ankle buckled booties (Sena) in faux leather respectively are easy to wear options with trousers, or jeans.

Up to the knee boots- with a wedge and a sample with slim strap, buckles at the calf and ankle (Railey) –make these fashionable kickers something more than just practical footwear to slog through winter slush.

Even the always “hot” snake skin pattern(image up top) gets animal friendly play in a heeled peep toe (Gabean).

For Spring 2010, mixed textures are well played in a multi strap wedge (Cheeky) platform sandal, buckled Cayli snakeskin pattern kitten heel.

Prices are amazingly top out at $79 for boots.


A bump up in price from the aforementioned, Nicole offers quality shoes and boots for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 for trend followers who might want to indulge in peds that’ll work year round.

Day to night options, kickers tricked out with mixed materials, and oversized detailing are highlights of what we saw.

At the showroom, retailers were favoring the Zig Zag bump toe flat with a stacked heel and big buckle detail.

We liked the all leather multi-strapped booties with contrasting toe/heel pieces (Behave), stacked heel oxfords, and the flexible over the knee boots that can fold over.

For Spring 2010, contrast stitching, cutouts and lined footbeds for comfort play big in snazzy peds.

Our favs are the updated gladiator type sandals with stacked heels and grommets and embossed leather details, and the Rock N Roll motorcycle boots.

Prices at the high end -$175 for the Over the knee Right Now boots, with shoes typically ranging from $79 up to $105.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Flare Fabulous Faux Fur Accents Jazz Up Outfits

It was a light bulb moment for Kim O’Connor when she snipped away at “old tried and true (ski) pants” and fashioned her first pair of Boot Chic to wear with her ski apparel.

Now a full fledged, fun fashion accessories’ line…Boot Chic, made of faux fur in assorted colors and patterns, are over the boot cover attachments…with coordinating scarves, headbands, and wristlets. It’s an inexpensive way to dress up an outfit-on or off the slopes.

We missed Boot Chic at the recent Outdoor Retailer show but met the founder on a sunny day in NYC recently.

Turns out, Kim O’Connor’s first pair was a pink ostrich boot cover to pair with her white jacket and black pants.

“Everyday is a new look and at the end of the day, you can shake them off and they dry,” she told us.

Popular options of the easy to put on (via an adjustable elastic cinch with a button hole)--- include bold animal prints.

Boot Chic comes in two adult sizes…s/m and large. And an adorable children’s collection to wear with Uggs, skates, leggings or with jeans is also available.

PRICES: $78-$98, Wristlets $20, Headbands $14, and children’s $38-$48.


Image Courtesy of Boot Chic™

Sunday, June 21, 2009


The Men's Wall of Fame

Tatoo Collection


FFANY June 10th 2009
Fifth Avenue, NYC

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

We were beyond excited to preview the massive Frye collection of peds and accessories during the recent FFANY tradeshow…a bi-annual gathering of exhibitors from around the world who descend on midtown Manhattan’s Hilton Hotel…or serve up their Big Apple showrooms to entice retail buyers…and thereby their customers…with apparel for the feet.

Ahhhh… no wonder women love shoes…and devote sizeable portions of precious living space to house them all ...and ovens as storage too.


Lucky us, we got the first class tour with Michael Petry, the creative eye and very congenial guru of Frye boots and shoes. Naturally, he was one happy camper when we met up with him in the late afternoon…the feedback from the retailers was phenomenal.
Here’s why…


Neutral tones (natural, smoke, taupe, black, dark brown) continue to rule sales but for Spring 2010, saturated rainbow colors are being introduced. For women the super comfortable (squishy soft buffalo leather) Carson Pull Up and Shortie boots come in poppin’ turquoise and green shades for example.

“Grommets are hot,” according to Petry. Our fav studded up versions included the stacked heel Maya Vintage Stud Slingback and a slingback clog in Dusty Rose.

“And it’s very important to get a mix of flats,”- including the popular Drivers (Reagan Campus and Deco Stitch), the Mocs with outsole stitching (Reba Honeycomb) and Ballets (Emma Leather Lace),

Striking contrast stitching-“Deco Stitch” is a signature detail of Frye’s. The versatile, multi-strapped Grace Sling comes in assorted shades---and will work with our jeans, leggings, and hosiery when we wear our dress-up frocks.

Similarly, a lace up Hazel Leather Pump has a casual, yet urban friendly snazzy style to it.

Equestrian embellishments like braided details, and harnesses (a studded Heath and the Melissa collection)--- are classics.

And in the vintage vein are boho sandals and the platform Corinna Campus Wedge--- that still finds favor with those of us who wore that style decades ago with our oversized elephant leg blue jeans.

On Our Wish List:

What we’re calling the TATOO boot collection blew us away and brought out our inner grrrrl!

In development for eight years (!!!), the laser stitched, white washed finish “plays up the tattoo,” Petry told us. A great combo of “soft” (leather) and the “aggressive” (hip designs by noted-tough to make an appointment with---- tattoo artist MASTER Scott Campbell) ---“it took awhile to figure out the leather.”

We only previewed the women’s styles…because the men’s versions were “stuck in customs.”

We also think Frye will have great success with the over the knee boots…a big trend for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010.


The cut out heels---for gals “living in Brooklyn.” Cool.


Workmen style lace up field boots in full grain leather, tumbled/smooth full grain,

and a Greene Tall Lace in washed canvas/tumbled full grain leather...

... flexible crepe outsoles and and Chukka styles are perennial best sellers.

Oxfords, Frye’s ways ---are handsome, masculine alternatives for professional dudes.

And what makes the men’s selections so special are the obvious to the eye, hand-finished details and eye catching exposed window soles.

We were very impressed with the flexibility/softness of the boat shoes and slip-ons with bold contrast stitching..

And lifestyle sneakers (remind us of old school tennis shoes) are also “doing great.”


Truth be told, we wanted it all.

In the Campus Group…a Crossbody knapsack style, Hobo and Stud Tote in soft crunch leather are the perfect everyday bags.

The carryalls for men are roomy enough for weekend jaunts and structured enough for office warriors.

For Spring 2010, most kickers will hit retail outlets in November 2009-January 2010, with gals’ MSRPs from $138 topping out at $398 for boots. Women’s bags range from $298-$498 (real values considering the quality)…
Guys will shell out from $128-$288 for those fierce Billy Tatoo boots.

Founded in 1863 by Massachusetts resident, the English native shoemaker John A. Frye. The oldest continuously operating shoe company in America (YEAH) has shod adventuresome pioneers, cowboys, American servicemen…and cool Hollywood types for decades.

Owned outright (since 1998) by Jimlar Corporation, helmed by brothers Jim and Larry Tarica, with a design studio and a STUNNING NYC showroom smack dab on Fifth Avenue. We wanted to move in.

We Support:
Frye’s partnership with Project A.L.S. in “A STEP TOWARDS A CURE”…via 20% donation of proceeds from the limited edition Jenifer Estess Collection” of boots.

Every style we saw…are keepers! Love the embossed logo.