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FFANY Fanfare: Highlights from the June New York Shoe Expo

June 15, 2016

FFANY Fanfare: Highlights from the June Event

More than just a place to shop shoes, FFANY rolled out a number of new initiatives and services at the recent edition in New York City June 7-9.  The three-day show provided retailers from across the country their first look at Spring ’17 trends and new lines, as well as styles to order now.

The Shoe Wall, a dedicated section featuring immediate deliveries, drew buyers looking for at-once product to freshen up their store floor. Retailers were encouraged to snap an image of their favorite styles and call the corresponding phone number.

Highlights included tropical-printed kitten heel pumps by J. Renee, woven booties by Cordani, cork and gold thongs from Jack Rogers and timeless nude pumps by Kate Spade.

The show also welcomed Fashionjobs.com job board, providing companies an opportunity to find their next rock star sales rep or buyer.

For the first time, FFANY introduced Shoes4aCure, a four-day shoe sale bonanza benefiting breast cancer research. Shoppers, from both the footwear industry and passersby, snapped up current season shoes by the likes of DVF, Vince, Sam Edelman and more, for half off the suggested retail price.

The sale raised tens of thousands of dollars for nine beneficiary hospitals and research centers to fund a cure for breast cancer.

Shoes4aCure—located on the concourse level of the New York Hilton Midtown—kicked off on June 6 allowing early bird and V.I.P. shoppers to have first dibs. Some of the bargains to be had included $45 fuchsia sandals by Jessica Simpson, $249 suede color blocked stilettos by Stuart Weitzman, Dr. Scholl’s Shoes wedges for $54 and men’s Vince sneakers for $125.

By the final day of the sale, there was a line just to pay for shoes. At one point, greeters were on Sixth Avenue letting tourists and locals know about the sale.

“Shoppers thought it was great,” said Phyllis Rein, EVP, FFANY.  “Who doesn’t love shoes, and this is for all the right reasons.”

The initial response from member brands who were willing to donate was positive too. Rein said the sale will likely return during future shows, adding, “We see this as a great way for FFANY and the industry to continue to be able to give back.”

FFANY continued to give back during the opening night industry party held at Bryant Park Grill. The ticketed party raised funds for Two Ten and $50,000 was donated by FFANY to provide assistance to individuals in the footwear industry in need of cancer care and surgeries, as well as offered the industry an opportunity to meet the next generation of footwear designers.

At the party, FFANY presented the Joseph C. Moore scholarship award to Parsons, The New School Design student Chelsea Fu. As the first place winner, Fu will head to Arsutoria in Milan for a 13-week shoe pattern making and prototyping course valued at $17,500.

Second and third place winners, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) student Alice Oggionni and Isabella Bowie of Parsons, were awarded $3,100 each and a five-day Arsutoria course in New York City. All of the winning students were on hand to accept their awards and to network with the attendees.

Michelle Quick, SCAD program coordinator for accessory design, school of fashion, said it is crucial for for SCAD and its accessory design students to have a presence at FFANY. “Having our current students participate and walk the show exposes them to not only current style and material trends, but the realities of the business—that at the end of the day it’s about selling shoes,” Quick explained. The school also had a booth at the Hilton showcasing students’ latest footwear and handbag projects.

“Footwear and accessory education is starting to take root in the U.S., more schools are offering it, whereas a decade ago it was only one or two programs, or you had to go abroad,” Quick added.

SCAD’s program focuses on career preparation. The school, which is the only school in the U.S. to offer B.F.A., M.A., and M.F.A. in Footwear and Accessory Design, is based in Savannah and has other campuses in Atlanta, Georgia, Lacoste, France, and Hong Kong. The school used FFANY as a platform to reconnect with alumni who are working in the industry and to expose potential students in the area to student work.

“We have great industry links and many of the companies that employ our students and alumni show at FFANY, so this is a way for us to strengthen our existing relationships and hopefully create new ones,” Quick said.

Thank you VAMP and Angela Velasquez, Editorial Director for this special content.

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