There are many lives exposed online. Through Clarendon and Lark filters, most of them appear pretty glamorous, if not just prettily posed. But few can compete with the world of Megan Hess. Hess is a fashion illustrator, that once common but now rare art form that depicts lithe ladies wearing the latest styles. During the ’40s and ’50s, and even into the ’90s for many European magazines, illustration was the primary visual expression for designers like Oleg Cassini and Pierre Cardin to showcase their creations. Hess’s modern-day illustrations for Fendi, Chanel, Prada and Christian Louboutin have taken her around the globe on enviable projects–you can see the pictures of these trips on her insanely lovely Instagram account.
However, her latest project puts Hess in the designer’s role. Shoes of Prey selected the artist to collaborate on a new collection of shoes. We spoke with Hess about her dream job, drawing Michelle Obama and the shiny shoes she created, which you can shop now.
How did this collaboration with Shoes of Prey come about? Why did it feel right?
Who doesn’t want to design a shoe collection? It was really exciting. In terms of the brands I work with, you know, I illustrate for everyone from Fendi to Prada to Dior; I’ve only worked with really high-end brands. So when I spoke with Shoes of Prey, their attention to detail, the way in which they were going to be making the shoes and promoting the shoes, everything from production to creative was really in sync with things that I work on. So I felt it was a great fit in terms collaboration. And then the fact that I could really start from scratch.
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Image by Susanna Howe.
There is a lot of laughter on the other end of the phone line when the call goes through. All the principal members of the Frances Valentine team are gathered in their New York headquarters to talk about their reunion and the launch of their new footwear line. Well, except one. Andy Spade is running late—”Am I in trouble?,” he asks when he finally enters the room. To which the three women—his wife Kate Valentine (formerly Kate Spade), Design Director Paola Venturi and Head of Operations Elyce Arons—respond resoundingly “yes!”
The four were intimately involved in founding Kate Spade, now an international fashion label bought by Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 2007. Nearly 10 years later, the band is back together, and Kate has taken a new surname to associate herself with her new line, not, she assures, to distance herself from the handbag empire they once led.
Clockwise from left to right: Kate Valentine (formerly Kate Spade), Paola Venturi, Elyce Arons and Andy Spade.
Frances is a family name, passed down for generations on Kate’s father’s side. And Valentine was her father’s middle name. Andy and Kate’s daughter’s name is Frances Beatrix Valentine Spade, which would be a mouthful for merchandising. During their intermission, both Kate and Elyce spent time raising their children. Paola went to work for Prada. And Andy founded several creative ventures. Until it came time to reunite.
We spoke with all four about Frances Valentine, reinvention, advice for working moms and their friendship. Plus the quartet shared images from their new pre-fall campaign shot in Kate and Andy’s townhouse.
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Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne and Clara Paget attend Glastonbury Festival on June 22, 2016, in Glastonbury, England. Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images.
It’s almost tradition now—ever since Kate Moss was the first to be smart enough to slip on a pair of the rain boots with her teeny cutoffs in the ’90s, Hunter boots are the official footwear of Glastonbury. After all, the storied music festival gets muddy—and this year was thought by many to be the muckiest. But braving the elements is part of the fun, right?
In 2016, Moss’s kid sister, Lottie, was among the throngs of festivalgoers—along with Pixie Geldof, Alexa Chung, the Delevingne sisters—who did likewise. See our slideshow after the jump to watch how the style set handles puddles while the music plays on.
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Image courtesy of butter London
Nothing quite ties a spring-into-summer outfit together as a pretty pedicure to go with your sandals. When you’re polished up and stepping out in new shoes, you feel unstoppable—until you run into a street sign or a coworker because you were busy admiring your feet.
To inspire your shoe gazing, we’re featuring the season’s hottest sandal styles matched with equally exciting polish shades. But watch out: these combos are distracting.
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King of kicks Stuart Weitzman has a legion of models and Hollywood starlets devoted to his designs. So sourcing the top models and fashion icons Joan Smalls, Lily Aldridge and Gigi Hadid to show off his spring collection in a series of sultry fashion ads was par for the leggy course.
His latest designs include delicate ankle-wrap gladiators, over-the-knee boots, heavier retro platform sandals and a black patent rendition of his staple Nudist shoe. On the gorgeous trio naturally they look glam. On you, guaranteed, they will too.
We spoke with Weitzman about why the models were cast, aside from their obvious beauty, this season’s footwear essentials and his fascination with legendary objects.
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