Prolific footwear designer Sam Edelman made a public appearance today at Belk Dallas Galleria. Between 12-2pm, Belk hosted a Meet & Greet for the public to take photos with Sam and get his autograph. I was given the amazing opportunity to attend a media-only presentation beforehand given by Sam himself.
He began the presentation with a history of the brand and his own career. Hearing his journey in the fashion and footwear industry was fascinating. I was especially intrigued by the way he finds the trends for upcoming seasons. He told us of his European travels and how he will find a muse at airports and design the whole collection around her. His team will stop and talk to “her” and ask what stores she likes, tailoring their travel itinerary to those suggestions in order to do their trend research. Can you imagine being stopped at an airport by Sam Edelman?
I loved hearing about how he unexpectedly landed in the shoe business after originally thinking he would take over his father’s leather distribution company. It wasn’t until the age of 30 that he was first hired by Espirit to develop their shoe line. (My fellow twentysomething ladies: there is still time to start a new career and make your dreams come true!) He showed us the very first shoes he designed which are still sold today, proving how timeless his styles are. Based on the Mexican huarache shoe, the name of these flats is Adera.
Another shoe style that Sam Edelman is well-known for is the gladiator sandal. Sam explained how people thought gladiators would never become popular with Americans, but he trusted his gut and the European fashion trends. The Sam Edelman “Bryant” Gladiator style is by far the most well-constructed and gorgeous-looking that I have ever seen.
The next style he presented to us was the “Ginger” sandal, which he says will match well with anything and not go out of style. Dear Shoe Fairy Godmother, if you’re out there… I’d like one in every color please and thank you!
When discussing the upcoming season and new trends, Sam’s prediction for the most popular style of Spring/Summer is the slide sandal. The Adora, which he showed in a camo print, has already been featured in numerous fashion magazines. Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk, referred to them as Shower Shoes on Crack. (Love her!)
And then of course, there is the Felicia. King of Ballet Flats seems almost like an oxymoron, but this man knows his ballet flats! His flats are soooo much more comfortable than my Tory Burch ones.
Sam encouraged everyone in the audience to try on a pair of flats to show how well-fitting they are. While he thinks that the nude ballet flat will be the top-seller for spring, he advised the fashionistas to purchase them in gold, which will be an important trend for the season. Those who like to be ahead of the trends and are the type who can differentiate a Céline bag from a Balenciaga should choose silver, he said.
During the presentation, we also learned about ongoing plans to expand the brand into new categories. Sam Edelman now has a jewelry line, which is available at Belk. We were able to preview the collection, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. My favorite piece is this necklace, which Arlene was wearing. It looked so amazing on her, that I asked if I could snap a picture!
In addition to the jewelry, the apparel line will be launching soon with handbags and small leather goods. With so many exciting things in the works, Sam Edelman will be a very important lifestyle brand to watch in the next few years (and thereafter).
It was such an honor and privilege to meet Sam Edelman (and have my picture taken with him). His career history and passion for the industry are an inspiration and there is just something about the brand that really speaks to my generation. I am excited to follow the progression of the company as it extends to apparel and onward. I will also be trying to figure out my budget so that I can go on a serious Sam Edelman shoe shopping spree in the near future!!
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