Footwear News CEO Summit 2013 Re-Cap

This is an excerpt from

9eee634c15cc102207eac1fa3083e1a1Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Footwear News CEO Summit in Miami Beach. I was the newbie, I’m clearly not an executive but I wanted to meet the designers & industry leaders which I’ve been writing about for the past three years.

The event kicked off with a cocktail reception and luckily I found new friend, Karen who was also a first-time attendee. She’s an FIT graduate and inspired by the beautiful minimalism of Céline. I will get to see her debut contemporary designer line, KAREN, which launches the first week of September in New York.

The overall theme of the conference was “transformation” and for two days I heard many designers speak including: Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Rupert Sanderson, Nicholas Kirkwood, Isa Tapia, Charline De Luca, Alexandre Birman, Tony Hsieh plus more.

I want to share a couple of highlights from the designers themselves:

Charlotte Olympia

Designer Charlotte Dellal spoke with the president of Charlotte Olympia, Bonnie Takhar about stepping onto the global stage. Her brand is only 5 years old and she’s quickly building a company which is clearly on the path to major shoe brand domination à la Christian Louboutin.

Charlotte shared two important things that she’s learned:
1. Stay true to the brand
2. Surround yourself with the very best people

She stuck to her love for everything nostalgic and has carved a very strong & specific niche in designer shoes.

Charlotte’s also created strong relationships with luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus by giving them so much more than just the standard seasonal collections. She’s released encore collections, holiday-inspired designs and most recently the cosmic collection which centered around horoscope signs.

I spoke briefly with Charlotte and she’s truly one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. She’s genuine, glowy (maybe extra glowy because she’s pregnant!) and I’m excited to see her next spring collection in Paris this September.

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