Archives for April 2011

‘At Their Feet, Crafted by Hand’

American made shoes are kicking their heals in the air these days, according to a recent NYTimes feature “At Their Feet, Crafted by Hand” (Eric Wilson, 4/20/11). The story follows a recent upswing in buyers of American footwear (sales are up 50%), where only a handful of manufacturers still exist.

‘Trend’ is uneasy word for an industry that relies on a steady customer base. But at $360 for a pair of Allen Edmonds or Alden’s, the price shouldn’t create mass market stampedes. And in the current economy, the market rise can look like an anomaly.

But the news piece doesn’t wear out much shoe leather tracking down the reasons for the rise in high end shoe sales. Though cultural studies professors at FIT weren’t tapped for explanations, they spot some of the appeal, in value. A well cared for pair of top line shoes can last for fifteen years, and Allen Edmonds has a reconstruction program ($90 from heel to toe) that may well keep their shoes going a lifetime.

‘At Their Feet, Crafted by Hand’ could have also been pointing to the reclaimed antique floors (from American made trees) under the foot of these shoes – much of the same quality, process, and pricing fit.

Photo by Darren Hauck for the New York Times

 

Greenest New Yorker

New York Stateʼs first-ever award for the “Greenest New Yorker” was announced on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22. Brooklyn artists Nicola Armster and Brendan Smith were honored to design the award plaque, which “…captures the history of New York and itʼs commitment to building a green and sustainable future.” Constructed from reclaimed woods supplied by Sawkill, each of the ten species originated from historic buildings throughout New York State.

The contest, part of New York Stateʼs I LOVE NEW YORK initiative, was created “to celebrate those individuals who are doing their part to keep the Empire State green.” Entries, were judged by a panel of celebrities and influential green New Yorkers, including Chef, author, and restaurateur Mario Batali; Josh Dorfman, author of “The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget; eco-friendly and healthy home interior designer Robin Wilson; and the architect Morris Adjmi.