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Posted 7th March 2014 by Fiona
Are you looking for your next fashion fix now that London fashion week is now a distant memory? The search for hot new trends is only just beginning as many buyers hit the road for a flurry of fashion fairs all over the globe. Luckily for us in the shoe world – London being one of our favourite destinations – The Kensington Shoe event is only moments away (16-18th March) and ready to kick start all footwear aficionados into action. Set in the hub of our trendsetting capital city not only is it conveniently located it is held in the luxury surroundings of the Kensington Close hotel. This event gives the discerning buyer a relaxing environment in which to select from premium exhibitors. It’s distinctly boutique vibe and informal setting all add to the exclusive design of this fair.
With every new season comes this exciting, busy, buzzy round of shoe fairs like Kensington and these exhibitions or trade events play host to the very best of the shoe industry. The fairs are a must do, must see, who’s who of buyers, designers and bright new brands, something not to be missed. They are the where it all begins.
Without fail every six months the hunt is on for the latest and greatest in style, shape, colour and cut. Retailers and manufacturers alike are always on the look out for the next hot trend, hero piece and wardrobe classic. (The next Ugg, Croc or Timberland boot). It has always amazed me how people gravitate to the same styles and colours (sometimes with a little guidence) and how these often become the best sellers when they hit the shops - the power of silent marketing at its best.
Each event offers it’s own unique selection, buyers like to cover all the bases so often travel to more than one if not all. Here they can meet, greet, select, plan and generally be inspired. The object of the game is to find the ultimate collection of styles for your shops. Armed with a notepad, camara and a little sales history you are good to go. First stop should always be coffee, we all need a little wake up to get going.
The top four fairs to start each season off with a suitably glamourous bang! would be… Garda, Pure London, Moda and The Kensington Shoe Event.
Garda – If it’s January be prepared for snow, if its summer – tourists. Either way you are spoilt with the views and food. This fair has a very international feel, some good deals can be had here for early orders and volume deals. It’s also a chance to preview designs and prototypes from factories as well as being a great place to get your first hints of colours that may be key. Will it be ankle or long boots that dominate next winter? What is the new black? Is snakeskin making a comeback or mocc croc?
Pure London – Packed with ready to wear contempory fashion, from established brands to hip new comers. Your experience is given extra sparkle with fashion shows and champagne bars. Set in the heart of London, it’s easy to feel like you are part of the fashion set. The added bonus here is you get a glimpse into what’s happening in womens and mesnswear which is key to putting a fotwear collection together.
Moda – Now here we have a very friendly fair. Relaxed in the knowledge that it is traditional and well established. Many of the classic brands are big players but sit comfortably here in Birmingham often in very advanced stages of development so happy and confident to offer sound advice and guidance.
The Kensington Shoe event – The fact that it is called The Kensington Shoe event speaks volumes about the elegance and style this fair brings to the pot. Specialist brands and great quality sing out with style. If you are looking for something a little special it’s worth hopping into one of those fabulous black cabs and heading for one of the loveliest parts of the captial. Certainly a place you may feel the need for afternoon tea and cake.
Posted 4th March 2014 by Fiona
We love any kind of foodie celebration at Shoon, especially one that means you can get a little freeform with your cooking skills, and what better day to test out your prowess with a frying pan than Pancake day?
The one day of the year where pancakes unite the nation with food, fun and lots of flipping (more crepe than crumble is the aim).
This year I am going local, using Spelt flour from Sharpham Park, an organic food farm based near Glastonbury. The farm specialises in growing and milling spelt, a nutritious and healthy ancient grain that is an alternative to other more conventional grains (you learn something new everyday!). Its distinct nutty flavour is also a good addition to the traditional pancake recipe, so bring on the yum...
As far as toppings go, lemon and sugar takes some beating in my book, although not so popular with the smaller members of the household last year. So it’s going to be Pancake Day the Belgian way this year – Chocolate.
After a successful batch of pancake making (practice makes perfect), I’m thinking of giving pancakes a more regular appearance at the weekends, they are so good why restrict them to just one day a year?
Win 2 bags of Sharpham Park organic Spelt flour.
We have teamed up with our friends at Sharpham Park to give away two bags of Sharpham Park organic Spelt Flour.
Their White Flour is stoneground and put through a fine sieve to remove a large percentage of the bran. It makes a delicious, creamy white loaf but may also be used for cakes and biscuits.
The only ingredient in the bag is 100% pure and natural organic Sharpham Park Refined Spelt Flour.
To be in with a chance of winning we would like you to send us a photo of your best pancake and topping from which we’ll pick our winning favourite. We look forward to seeing the tasty results, good luck! For full details please see our Facebook page www.facebook.com/shoonshoe.
Posted 26th February 2014 by Fiona
Our Reading team is full of the joys of spring and so is their shop. With new stock arriving all the time I thought I would catch up with them to get some insider info on the new season.
Hello Reading, what's new so far in your store?
“We have received a lot of S/S 14 stock already that is proving to be quite the hit with customers. It gives the pop of colour all wardrobes will need this season to brighten up the day and as usual high quality foot support from trusted brands we all know and love!”
Which brands are your most popular & why?
“All our brands are popular due to the comfort they provide, but this season already, ECCO have proven to be a front runner so far! UGG, Gabor and Shoon’s own brand have attracted attention due to the fantastic style and comfort factors!”
What is your best seller so far from the new stock?
“UGG Darling a fabulous little ankle boot that can take you season to season, Keeping you warm through the last bit of winter and carrying you into S/S 14 in style.”
Tell us about a new brand.
“Nica accessories are a new brand we are stocking for S/S14. They are a great alternative to Orla Kiely, coming in fantastic colours and prints, with something to suit everybody!”
What does spring summer mean to you?
“Being outdoors with friends and family and doing activities in the sunshine with those you enjoy spending time with. Having fun instead of being stuck indoors! Giving the slippers a rest and sticking on your most fabulous bright footwear to go exploring what the New Year has to offer!”
What's on your wish list from Shoon?
“Kathryn loves our new accessories from Nica, for example the rucksack in the beautiful bright print, paired with the Softino pumps in an equally lovely colour and Sally is a fan of anything ECCO and loves our new ECCO Crisp Mary Jane in the pop of red!”
Posted 19th February 2014 by Fiona
Come with us on short but stylish journey through spring summer 2014. With spectacular stories of colour, key pieces and of course shoes. You are in good company, so sit back, relax and get your fashion fix here for the season ahead.
This season Women’s wear has a great energy and optimism all supplemented with a riot of colour (three cheers!). We all know that fashion is a great way to inject a little bit of this vitality into your world and it is amazing what a colour pop here or a motif print there can do for the soul. And as if that wasn’t enough to boost the feel good factor there is a real sense of freedom for women this season. No longer tied to one look and one colour but given more choices to suit every changing and complex lifestyles.
‘Rhapsody in blue’, green, pink, coral, orange and yellow.
Naturals and neutrals.
2: Our VIP’s (Very important pieces)
Spring Coats, double breasted Jackets, a statement dress, denim, denim, denim, the white shirt, tunics, pleated skirts, wide trousers, shorts and culottes.
3: Style stories, let’s talk about shoes….
African – Wild splashes of colour and graphic prints
laser cut and metallic
Prints – florals, geometric, art inspired and batik
Denim – canvas, boat, old leather
In a nutshell some simple tools for easy chic this spring; wide trousers, white shirts, big skirts, trench coats prints and flat shoes.
Posted 12th February 2014 by Fiona
With February 14th just around the corner it begs the question, are you a romantic? Is it a date that passes you by or one where you celebrate all things romantic and ‘LOVE’ly? I definately fall into the (old school) romantic category and one of the things about February 14th I love the most is the fact that it is a day that has been celebrated and enjoyed year upon year since at least the Middle Ages. One of the sweetest things I have seen is a handmade card sent from my Grandfather to my Grandmother during the second world war, and although the style of delivery has changed over the years the sentiment remains the same.
A vintage ‘Valentine’ may be a passionate poem scrawled on parchment, a telegram, a love letter or simply a card. Perhaps chocolates in a pink, heart shaped box (see Charlie Brown) delivered James Bond style under cover of darkness. And when it comes to flowers, tradition dictates that love is indeed like a red, red rose (or maybe a dozen if you’re lucky.)
For a magical modern moment, text it, tweet it, capture it on Instagram and then collage it on Flipagram – not forgetting to find space for some quality Facetime (for anyone with an iPhone).
A bunch of chocolate cake pops should satisfy a sweet tooth but your local garden centre maybe the place for a longer lasting token of esteem with flowers that will return year after year.
Undoubtedly the simplicity of telling someone that they are special to you is a beautiful thing no matter how you choose to do it, but if you are still stuck for ideas Pinterest never fails to deliver.