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We caught up with Brooke Jaffe on her recent visit to Bloomingdale's new shoe department. Here's what she had to say!
Racked:What styles are going to be really big this spring?
Brooke Jaffe: There are a lot of different categories that are important. There were very big athletic influences on the runway and as a result we really believe in sneakers. This is everything from kind of punk inspired sneakers, you might see studs, you might see black leather, you might see high-top wedges that have kind of an edgy look. This kind of punk vibe is going to be important starting spring and sort of continuing through fall.
We just got back from the runway shoes in Europe, kind of culminating in a very punk look from Yves Saint Laurent that everyone is talking about. The theme of the Met Gala is "Chaos to Couture" and it's punk themed, so we love registering that with sneakers. But then there's a kind of preppy, very happy story happening with sneakers, so low-tops are still completely relevant. Brands like Sperry Topsider, Keds, you're going to see a sea of color and also print. Really you can't go wrong just investing in a sneaker, period.
Next, we still believe in really ladylike shoes. By ladylike, I'm talking about pumps. We've never seen such a focus on pointy toe, single sole pumps. It's really time for women to take those platforms and push them to the back of their closet and go for this new silhouette. It will update everything that you have, whether it's capri skinny jeans or it's that shorter length work pant or it's a dress, a mini, really anything that you put with a pointy toe pump is going to look updated and really relevant. Christian Dior showed on the runway and that was the runway shoe, that really new silhouette. I think it's taking women a long time to get used to it but it's about time.
I also want to say that black, which is not typically a color we talk about for spring, is really, really major. So it might sound obvious to say "oh, invest in a black pump or in leather" but it's not obvious. The ready-to-wear clothing is very driven by a black and white graphic, which we can thank Marc Jacobs for, he showed very graphic black and white prints, and that really launched every trend for the season. That's really the punk story. We still love color, I'm not saying to negate it. One of my tips for the season is that if you're really buying into the black and white trend for your clothing, you may want to opt for a colored shoe, a bright color in a shoe. We love hot corals, hot pink, cobalt blues, bright green. Those look fantastic as accessories paired back to black and white clothing. I love a pointy toe hot pink pump for the season and then you pair that with your black and white ready-to-wear.
R:Is there a pair of shoes in the store that's on your wishlist?
B.J.: Yes, I haven't bought it yet but the Christian Dior pointy toe. It's not just any pointy toe. It's just the perfect?even though it's not such a high heel, when you put it on, there's something about the way it's cut and the way it looks on the foot. It's just so elegant.
R: What are shoes every woman should have in her closet?
B.J.: Every woman, not to repeat, should have a pointy toe pump in black leather. I think every woman should have a clean, minimal summer sandal, so it could be a soft gold or a really pretty neutral. I am going to go back to pumps: I think every woman should have something that they would equate to flesh tone in a pump because it goes with dresses, it goes with skirts, it goes with black pants and usually is a leg lengthener. I really recommend that. Every woman should have a riding boot in their closet. I think something in a rich chocolate brown, which goes with skinny jeans, which I don't think will ever go out style.
Truthfully, as a shoe person, they show the shoes, whether it's a boot being tucked in, a pump or a sneaker wedge, I think skinny jeans are the name of the game. You should have a fashion sneaker in your closet. I always say that if you're intimidated by some of the bright colors, to invest in a black high-top wedge sneaker and wear it as if it were a black bootie. Think of it that way and that takes the intimidation factor out of the styling. I'm also going to say everyone should have a motorcycle boot. That can be a more aggressive one with hardware or it could be a Frye boot, like the Engineer boot that's kind of a classic for them. Every woman should have some type of a black short boot.
R: What's the key to pulling off a really trendy shoe?
B.J.: First of all confidence, which is a cliché but it's so true. If you look unsure, everyone can feel it. I really believe it does no shoe justice when the outfit is too busy. My name of the game is: you take the last thing you put on off, not the shoe obviously, and if you want to make the shoe the star of the outfit, you have to make it that way. I'm a big proponent of more minimalistic dressing to capitalize on my fabulous shoe purchase.
R: We have a little "heels vs flats" section where we rattle off an event and you tell us what shoe you'd wear. It doesn't have to be just heels of flats, if you want to say "I'd do a kitten heel or I'd wear wedges," feel free to pick a different options. So what would you wear for a job interview?
B.J.: I would definitely do the pointy toe pump. If you're comfortable in high shoes, fine. But I think now that it is about single soles, it's appropriate to wear a high heel and a kitten heel. I do not believe that platforms are appropriate for job interviews, unless it's a closed shoe. I will never, even shoe toes at a job interview.:
R: What about a first day at a new job?
B.J.: No toes again. You should never show toes at an office, is really my rule of thumb?or toe. No pun intended.
R: A first date?
B.J.: A first date. I would do something flirty. I think it's fun if maybe the shoe is closet but it's a really fun color, so if you're wearing like skinny jeans and a blazer and a really fun underpinning, have fun with your shoes. Show your date you have some personality. But don't put all your cards on the table either.
R: Meeting a boyfriend's parents for the first time?
B.J.: It depends on the time of year. Again, show your personality I just wouldn't be too daring. I think you can wear a sandal. Maybe a ballet flat.
R: A friend's bridal shower?
B.J.: Wear a great dress and an espadrille wedge.
R: A Memorial Day party?
B.J.: Again, depends. In my family we're all about lobster juice all over ourselves. I'd go for a great capri distressed denim and a really cool flat sandal. Something I could have a good time in and still look cute.
· Bloomingdales [Official Site]