Making Luxury Shoes Affordable


Photo: M. Gemi

Ben Fischer, the former CEO of Rue La La launched M. Gemi this week.  M. Gemi is an e-commerce company that sells luxury, hand-crafted footwear made by artisan designers from Italy at an affordable price.  M. Gemi’s joins the ranks of Everlane and Warby Parker with their direct-to-consumer business model.  The brand has found a way to make luxury shoes more affordable by developing partnerships with Italian craftsman and selling directly to the consumer.  New shoe designs, priced between $128 and $298, will launch every week and be retired after 90 days.  The brands first round of offerings do look appealing.  And who doesn’t love a bargain when it comes to shoes.  Will be interesting to see how the business develops.

The beginning of a great love affair….

Last week I went to London and Paris for a bit of a winter break.  Anyone who knows me is very aware (and perhaps also the customs officer who took note of my previous stamps from Paris) that I adore Paris.  It’s one of my favorite cities in the world.  I love to wander around the city and take in all that it has to offer  – which of course includes great food and shopping.  This visit was no different.  I went to some of my favorite shops and  Italian restaurant in Le Marais.


This visit I also had the opportunity to visit the Francesco Russo salon.  If you have been reading any of my posts lately, you know that I am crushing really hard on his shoe designs right now.  My heart sank a little when I arrived at the shop with my girlfriend only to see a “Be back in 30 minutes” note in the window.  It was almost 4:00 in the afternoon, so we decided to grab a late lunch and return because not visiting the salon was not an option. In hindsight, it was probably best that we had a rest and fueled up a bit because I certainly needed all of my strength for all of the awesomeness that awaited me.

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Coach to buy Luxury Footwear Brand Stuart Weitzman

On Monday, the rumor bill was buzzing that Coach, Inc. was going to acquire luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman. Coach formally announced the acquisition of Stuart Weitzman from Sycamore Partners in a deal valued up to $574 million yesterday.


Source: Stuart Weitzman

The views from industry experts seem to be mixed as to whether this is actually a good deal or not but I think most are focusing on the deal from Coach’s perspective and the potential benefits to Coach.  And rightfully so, since the handbag maker has been struggling over the last few years to find its footing given increased competition from the likes of Michael Kors and Tory Burch.  Stuart Weitzman, most noted for its Nudist sandal that was a fixture on the red carpet in 2014, is a strong brand that has great potential to expand and improve its product line.  Stuart Weitzman may not be a savior for Coach but Coach’s footwear business will likely benefit from the knowledge it gains about Stuart Weitzman’s successful wholesale business.

Beauty Editor loses it at Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale!

When I first moved to NYC, I loved going to sample sales. It was the easiest way for me to satisfy my desire for designer goods without breaking the bank. I can tell you first hand that they can get crazy and the women can be ruthless so it didn’t come as a surprise to me to see that a WWD Beauty Editor lost it at the Manolo sample sale this week. Page Six reports that beauty editor Julie Naughton was spotted “screaming” and “bullying” other editors who were trying to cut in line. Yikes! I hope she walked away with some great shoes after this incident.

Check out the full story here.