Traffic Slower For Black Friday As Shoppers Head Online

Black Friday shoppers in New York

Shoppers are continuing to change where and how they spend during the holidays and this Black Friday was no different.

The unofficial kickoff to the all-important shopping season showed more shoppers spending sooner and more frequently buying online.

Early reports show that many shoppers hit brick and mortar stores yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day. The National Retail Federation estimated 99.8 million shoppers were out for Black Friday today. Overall the Federation anticipates 135.8 million shoppers out spending during the long weekend.

Target reported that a week of Black Friday deals helped push shoppers into the store on thanksgiving and grow buzz. The company said it saw a 35 percent increase in buy-online/pickup in-store this year.

Online sales for Thanksgiving were already up 26 percent year over year according to IBM Watson Trend, which tracks and analyzes retail revenue and trends.

There is definitely a trade off for some retailers doing more promotions earlier and introducing online into the equation for better cross-channel sales: it means not as many shoppers were out and about on Black Friday as has been historically seen.

Oliver Chen, an analyst at Cowen, underscored the importance of online to this year’s holiday and Black Friday. In a note he noted lighter than usual traffic in stores and more online buzz.

“Combined with the improved convenience of online shopping thru mobile ordering & in-store pickup options and the seamless availability of deals online, we believe standing in-line for doorbusters is losing its appeal. Simply put, the consumer is becoming much more savvy and sophisticated, reducing the need to wait in-line,” said Chen.

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UFC Champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk Reveals Her Favorite Training Music & More

Joanna Jędrzejczyk

UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk is very comfortable in the spotlight. The Polish fighter co-headlined UFC 193 on Nov. 15 in Melbourne, Australia — the league’s first fight card to feature two women’s title bouts.

Jędrzejczyk easily defended her belt against Valerie Letourneau, while bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey fell to Holly Holm. Despite the tremendous buildup for the event, Jedrzejczyk was cool and collected beforehand.

“It’s a big deal for me, Ronda and the UFC, [but] I don’t feel extra pressure,” she said. “I feel extra motivation and power. I want to do my best.”

A self- proclaimed sneakerhead, Jedrzejczyk signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok five months ago and has been training in the brand’s ZPump Fusion. Reebok also has supplied her with everyday lifestyle shoes, including her favorite, the Classic Leather.

“I started collecting sneakers four years ago. I’ve always liked kicks, but I didn’t expect to get so addicted. I’ve got like 100 pairs. Sometimes I change my shoes three times a day.”

The 28-year-old athlete is already contemplating a signature shoe.

“I would love to have one. It would be called the ‘JJ Champion,’” she said. “It would have white, gold and maybe black.”

Here, Jędrzejczyk talks her favorite things:

Celebrity I’d like to meet:

“Denzel Washington. I love ‘Man on Fire’ so much—it’s the only movie on my iPod when I travel.”

Favorite place to travel:

“The U.S.—I’d like to move here. I like New York, the West Coast and Miami.”

Dream car:

“White Range Rover Sport. It’s big and strong.”

My favorite polish dish: 

“Pierogi, but not the typical pierogi—the one my mom makes around Christmas.”

Justin TimberlakeJustin Timberlake.

Music I train to:

“All kinds—pop, Polish hip-hop. I like Justin Timberlake.”

Most-used iPhone app:

“Instagram. I want to give part of my life to my fans.”

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Trask Designer Jason Jones Talks Using Nature As Inspiration

Trask shoes

Trask is paying homage to its roots in the American West for spring ’16. However, explained Jason Jones, VP of design, that’s not to be confused with Western.

Jason Jones TraskTrask designer Jason Jones.
Courtesy of brand.

“The look is steeped in casual with west-of-the-Mississippi influences,” he said of the new collection, which includes styles such as wingtip boots and driving mocs done 
in supple bison and elk.

“We’ve also used full-grain leathers from the Horween tannery in Illinois. We like to keep things close to home.”

For authenticity, Jones headed to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for design ideas.

“[People there] live an outdoor, active lifestyle,” he said, adding that the brand resonates with the area’s upscale and celebrity clientele. From there, the designer stopped in Salt Lake City for the Sundance Film Festival and people-watched the influencers strolling through town — one of which was James Marsden, who was spotted in the brand’s boots.

TraskA Trask spring ’16 style.
Courtesy of brand.

Jones also pointed out that Trask has a more formal side, offering office-appropriate dress-casual wingtips.

“We’re looking at the way guys are dressing — denim and khakis with deconstructed blazers and these styles clean up the look,” he said.

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Kari Sigerson On Her Return To Footwear

Kari Sigerson Alumnae

When Kari Sigerson decided it was time to throw her hat back in the ring after years of consulting and ghost-designing shoes for other labels, she knew precisely whom to turn to: a former colleague she had taken under her wing early on, Eliza Axelson-Chidsey.

“Eliza worked with Miranda [Morrison] and me at Sigerson Morrison all those years ago,” said Sigerson one recent rainy afternoon in Soho at interiors emporium BDDW, where the duo’s debut collection for spring ’16 was presented. “We are the alumnae, after all.”

Kari Sigerson AlumnaeAlumnae resort ’16 flats.
Courtesy of brand.

Hence, they formed Alumnae, their newest endeavor of sophisticated Italian-made sandals, slides and minimalist loafers, most ringing in at $400 to $800, or, as Sigerson put it, “just below super-duper high luxury, but still incredible quality. We are that sweet spot.” Axelson-Chidsey noted that the name also has another meaning. “It’s about heritage. It speaks to the years of experience we have working together and with different craftspeople who have made shoes for a really long time.”

Sigerson is making her return several years after an acrimonious breakup with Marc Fisher Footwear, which purchased Sigerson Morrison in 2006. (The founders left in 2011.) “I’ve been thinking about all of these shoes for a long time that haven’t had a place,” she said.

Alumnae Resort '16 ShoesAlumnae resort ’16.
Courtesy of brand.

There was also a certain aesthetic that both designers felt was missing from the market. “We looked around and thought there was an opportunity to do something really clean, pared-back and thoughtful,” said Sigerson. “But still feminine,” added Axelson-Chidsey. Beyond a working familiarity, the two women share a roster of factory contacts and production know-how that have enabled them to bring a designer hand to the high-contemporary label.

The women’s brand launched for spring ’16 with notoriously picky showroom The News and quickly secured retailer The Apartment in New York and Los Angeles, along with its online offshoot,, plus a selection of specialty boutiques. For the New York-based duo, who act as co-designers, this is exactly the audience they had hoped would respond to their work. “Out of the blue, we had some stores in Japan rush to order it, which is very flattering since they are so specific and discerning,” said Sigerson.

Alumnae Resort '16 ShoesAlumnae resort ’16.
Courtesy of brand.

Upon examining the collection, it’s not hard to see why reactions have been favorable right out of the gate. The all-flats lineup of 30 styles features flattering asymmetrical strapping, glossy leather turban twists and finely woven uppers. Loafers come pre-broken in, with collapsible step-on heel backs, while a high-vamp round-toe mule is their version of a ballerina.

Most styles slide on easily or have cleverly disguised fastenings, while supple suede soles finish each shoe for a wafer-thin profile. “I don’t think we’ll ever do high heels, but never say never,” Sigerson added. “It’s more about wearable, easy, smart shoes that every woman should have and wants to have.”

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Shoe of the Day: Our Editors’ Top Picks

Navigating the world of e-commerce can be a dizzying experience.

Luckily, FN’s editors are here to help. Whether you’re looking for athletic, women’s or men’s footwear, our Shoe of the Day gallery pinpoints the best shoes on the market right now.

So hide your credit card and start scrolling through.

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Celebrity Statement Shoes: The Standout Picks Of The Day

Whether it’s on the red carpet for a big premiere or a sighting out-and-about, celebrities always seem to have a good time with their shoes.  We like to think it’s because they get to play with their style so often.

From wacky and wild heels to subdued sneakers, stars don’t hold back when it comes to picking up standout style-making shoes.  And it’s also true that the stars have their go-to fashion styles.

Michael Kors hosted quite the star studded party in Tokyo to celebrate his flagship store opening in the city. Big fashion names like Poppy Delevingne and Harley Viera Newton were on hand to celebrate. Dakota Johnson wowed in a spring ’16 dress by the designer, and paired the look with strappy lace-up sandals. Delevingne wowed us with her straw-colored dress by the designer and nude Valerie lace-up sandals from the resort collection.

Dakota Johnson Celebrity Statement Shoes Fall 2015November 2015: Dakota Johnson attended the Tokyo flagship store opening for Michael Kors wearing a dress by the designer and strappy pumps.
Rex Shutterstock.

Poppy Delevingne Celebrity Statement Shoes Fall 2015November 2015: Poppy Delevingne wore head-to-toe Michael Kors for the designer’s Tokyo flagship store opening.
Rex shutterstock.

Click through to celebrity slideshow below to see who made the cut today.

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American Music Awards: Memorable Celebrity Shoes From Years Past

The 2015 American Music Awards are just days away and for the fans who want to reminisce on some of the best red carpet fashion moments from years past, FN rounds up the most memorable shoe moments over the years. Jennifer Lopez is set to host the AMAs on Sunday night and is sure to keep the energy up throughout the live event. The singer is no stranger to the AMA stage as she has been performing at the show since 2001.

Last year, Lopez arrived in a Reem Acra cutout dress and Christian Louboutin Pigalle Strass pumps, while she opted for a head-to-toe Gucci look back in 2009.

Jennifer Lopez AMAs 2014Jennifer Lopez in a Reem Acra cut-out dress and Christian Louboutin pumps in 2014.
Getty Images.

Jennifer Lopez AMAs 2009In 2009, Lopez wore head-to-toe Gucci.
Getty Images.

For Taylor Swift — who leads this year’s pack with six AMA nominations — Jimmy Choo is the go-to shoe designer she chooses to complete her red carpet ensembles. The “Bad Blood” singer has worn Jimmy Choo designs at the AMAs in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Taylor Swift AMAs 2013Taylor Swift in gold Jimmy Choo strappy sandals at the 2013 show.
Getty Images.

Taylor Swift AMAs 2010Taylor Swift in Jimmy Choo at the 2010 AMAs.
Getty Images.

Other designers continuously seen on the red carpet are Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Nicki Minaj made a statement in 2010 in metallic gold Louboutin platform sandals paired with an eye-catching Manish Arora dress. The rapper was on hand that year to present the award for Best Soul/R&B Female to Rihanna.

Nicki Minaj AMAs 2010Nicki Minaj wore Christian Louboutin sandals on the 2010 red carpet.
Getty Images.

This year, she is up for Artist of the Year and if it’s anything like this most recent MTV VMAs, Minaj will not disappoint on stage or on the red carpet.

Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Gwen Stefani, The Weeknd, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Coldplay, One Direction, Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Walk the Moon, Selena Gomez, 5 Seconds of Summer and country star Carrie Underwood are slated to perform during music’s big night. Tune in on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Click through the gallery below to see which artists had the most memorable shoe moments from years past.

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Camuto Names Susan Pellish-Thaler Group President Of Footwear

Susan Pellish-Thaler

Heading into the important December market, Camuto Group has made a major executive appointment, appointing Susan Pellish-Thaler group president of footwear, Vince Camuto and Louise et Cie. In her new role, Pellish-Thaler will oversee the shoe businesses for both brands domestically.

Most recently, the executive was GM of Sam Edelman. Before that, she was president of a specialty division at Nine West Corp., a company co-founded by the late Vince Camuto. Previously, Pellish-Thaler was VP of footwear, handbags and accessories at Saks Fifth Avenue for a decade and also held other department-store roles.

“I am extremely excited to have Susan join our executive team. Her experience speaks for itself, and she is a perfect fit for the culture at Camuto Group,” said Camuto CEO Alex Del Cielo.

Del Cielo added that the move will allow Ed Ferrell to fully step into his role as president and chief merchandising officer of the company. Ferrell had previously been heavily involved in overseeing the footwear division.

Pellish-Thaler, who will report to Ferrell, said, “I’m looking forward to working alongside the best in the business and growing the brands in partnership with Ed and the entire Camuto Group team.”

In addition, Camuto Group announced the promotion of Leah Robert to chief communications and strategic development officer, reporting directly to Del Cielo.

In addition to her current responsibilities, Robert, who was most recently EVP of licensing and marketing, will develop corporate strategy with the executive team and manage corporate communications.

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Kate Middleton Wears Aquatalia Boots For Wales Engagements

Kate Middleton in Aquatalia

Kate Middleton was spotted in Aquatalia boots again, this time for an engagement in Wales.

There, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William visited the Gisda charity center, which provides help for the homeless youth.

Most recently, Middleton was seen in Aquatalia boots while in Scotland for a series of engagement. But her affinity for the boots dates back to an appearance in 2011, when she was visiting a homeless shelter.

Kate Middleton in AquataliaKate Middleton visits in Wales, while wearing Aquatalia boots.
Splash News

Women’s brand Aquatalia recently announced a new creative director on board, Edmundo Castillo.

“I have long respected Aquatalia for its quality and craftsmanship,” said Castillo. “I am very excited to join Global Brands and build on the strong loyalty that Marvin has established.”

Aquatalia, owned by Global Brands in New York, also recently launched a men’s line for fall ’15.

Other recent Middleton spottings include lots of love for Jimmy Choo – at the ‘Spectre’ premiere and and for a wellie-throwing contest.

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Cool And Quirky Street Style: East London

East London has rightfully earned its rights as London’s most creative hub. Former warehouses in Hackney and hidden corners in Dalston are home to the design studios of some of the city’s most talked-about designers, from Erdem to Christopher Kane.

A mere walk along Brick Lane in Shoreditch also makes the cultural mix the area is known for, evident- rugged cafés, where bearded, hipster types are serving organic coffee, are placed right next to traditional Indian curry houses which have been in the area for decades.

London Street Style Shoes

Naturally, the street-style scene is just as diverse. Young, creative types from across the world roam the streets in effortlessly layered outfits and stylish flats that for once, put fashion and comfort in the same equation. Niche designer brands and flea market finds seem to be the choice for the East London crowd, who have a strict policy against fast fashion.

London Street Style Shoes

Highlights include love-worn Comme des Garcons sneakers, vintage Vivienne Westwood ballet flats and an array of variations of the classic brogue – studded, printed in florals or embellished with tassels – most likely discovered among the piles of other forgotten treasures in one of the many neighborhood vintage stores. 

Click through the gallery to see more East London street style.

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