FASHION, FEMINISM AND FOOTWEAR: 8 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT the SHOE BUSINESS IN 2018

Last week, Chloe took part in a panel at the Footwear News ‘Women Who Rock’ Summit, to discuss socioeconomic trends and what it’s like running a fashion business in 2018. She was joined on stage by Susanne Botschen, co-founder of MyTheresa.com and MarthaLouisa.com, designer Suzanne Rae Pelaez, and Footwear News’ Executive Editor Katie Abel, who moderated the conversation. Here, we share the most insightful takeaways from the panel.

Published: 14th JUNE 2018 | Words: TAMARA ABRAHAM | Photos: FOOTWEAR NEWS

On What Women Want from their Footwear Today

“People don’t want to carry two pairs of shoes [heels and flats] anymore. We need to ensure that people do feel [beautiful] in flats… It has been an important part of my business for women to feel comfortable in heels and flats. You wear heels for yourself, not a man.” — Chloe Gosselin

 Susanne Botschen (left) and Chloe Gosselin (right) at the Footwear News 'Women Who Rock' summit

Susanne Botschen (left) and Chloe Gosselin (right) at the Footwear News 'Women Who Rock' summit

On Using Fashion as a Platform for Feminism

“Practicality is chic... Fashion can be intellectual and it was really important for me to express that through feminism.” — Suzanne Rae Pelaez

On Trends

“I think the self-esteem of women has risen. I admire the young generations now, they’re really cool. They don’t feel dictated-to, and because they don’t feel that, they [dress] better.” — Susanne Botschen

On Working with Retailers Around the World

“There needs to be an open conversation between designers and wholesalers. It’s really important to listen to feedback — what people want in the Middle East or in Europe or here [in the US] is really different. It’s been a hard thing to navigate. So you see collections that are enormous for a young designer. The market is so different everywhere. Which is nice, because it’s got to be different at Martha Louisa or Barney’s.” — Chloe Gosselin

On the Pros and Cons of Social Media

“[Social media is] definitely key but it is harder than it was a while back. At first, social media platforms were great for young designers. [These days] it’s harder because of all the advertising that comes into play. Now it’s for the big players — you have to spend money on ads to get more visibility.

“The best thing about social media is being able to have a conversation with my customer. I know who she is. I like to have that dialogue with them. I always answer everybody and that direct feedback is very precious now. They know who I am, they know my day-to-day… There’s that personal story that we were not able to tell before social media.” — Chloe Gosselin

 From left: Susanne Botschen, Chloe Gosselin, Katie Abel and Suzanne Rae Pelaez

From left: Susanne Botschen, Chloe Gosselin, Katie Abel and Suzanne Rae Pelaez

On the Rapid Pace of Fashion

My lesson learned the hard way is that you have to stick to what you know, and what you believe in… It’s trying to find where you belong. Fashion is so fast.” — Suzanne Rae Pelaez

On How New Brands Get Discovered

“The good retailers discover [new brands] by themselves, to be honest. [In turn,] retailers can support [young designers] by giving them a platform to make them known.” — Susanne Botschen

On the Challenges Facing Retailers Today

“To tell you the truth I’m really happy that I don’t have to do a huge amount of ready-to-wear anymore, because trends change more quickly today, and retailers have to do huge budgets on important first lines. It can become challenging, more challenging than it used to be. — Susanne Botschen

behind-the-scenes: how chloe and hannah ferguson prepped for the cfda red carpet

The supermodel was Chloe Gosselin's date for last night's event at the Brooklyn Museum. Here, they share a glimpse of how they got ready for American fashion's biggest night.

Published: 5th JUNE 2018 | Words: TAMARA ABRAHAM | Photos: ALEXANDRA GENOVA

The CFDA Awards are often described as fashion's answer to the Oscars. It certainly holds its own in the glamour stakes — and last night's event was no exception, honoring Raf Simons, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian and Diane von Furstenberg.

But before the good and the great of US fashion descended on the Brooklyn Museum, there was the not-so-small matter of getting ready. CFDA tradition demands that each designer brings a model or muse as their date, and for the 2018 awards, Chloe invited supermodel Hannah Ferguson, whose career so far has seen her cover the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and a Chanel fragrance campaign.

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 Artist at work: Makeup pro Laura Stiassni working her magic on Chloe Gosselin before last night's CFDA Awards.

Artist at work: Makeup pro Laura Stiassni working her magic on Chloe Gosselin before last night's CFDA Awards.

The pair shared a glimpse of the process behind their hair, makeup and eveningwear looks as they prepared for the event among the antique marionette forms and vintage arcade machines that decorate the Manhattan penthouse apartment that Chloe shares with husband David Copperfield and their daughter, Sky.

Both Chloe and Hannah supported CFDA designers in their fashion choices. Their dresses were by Gabriela Hearst — who was among the nominees for Womenswear Designer of the Year last night — and their jewelry was by CFDA member Monica Sordo, who is known for her Art Deco-inspired creations. When it came to footwear, they were spoiled for choice, with an array of options from Chloe Gosselin’s fall/winter collection.

 Spoiled for choice: Hannah and Chloe chose from a selection of shoes from the Chloe Gosselin fall/winter collection; their jewelry was by CFDA member Monica Sordo.

Spoiled for choice: Hannah and Chloe chose from a selection of shoes from the Chloe Gosselin fall/winter collection; their jewelry was by CFDA member Monica Sordo.

 Final decision: Hannah wore the Cate pumps in a new custom print for fall/winter 2018, and mother of pearl earrings by Monica Sordo

Final decision: Hannah wore the Cate pumps in a new custom print for fall/winter 2018, and mother of pearl earrings by Monica Sordo

Makeup artist Laura Stiassni was charged with creating the beauty looks. For Hannah, all the focus was on the lips, which were painted a deep matte red. The rest of her makeup was intentionally minimal: fresh, flawless skin, with a flick of inky eyeliner on the eyes.

Hannah's hair, by Dallin James, was pulled back into a low ponytail with a side-parting, again, setting off those lips. The look was completed by a tailored black dress that, like many of Hearst's designs, referenced men's suiting.

Chloe's look took a creative lead from old Hollywood glamour. Dallin styled her hair in cascading waves, swept to one side, that echoed the cut of her emerald silk jersey dress from Hearst's fall/winter collection. The verdant hue was complemented by coral lips and immaculately sculpted cheekbones.

 Finishing touches: Chloe adjusts Hannah's shoes before they set out.

Finishing touches: Chloe adjusts Hannah's shoes before they set out.

 Old Hollywood glamour: Chloe's hair was styled in cascading waves.

Old Hollywood glamour: Chloe's hair was styled in cascading waves.

The finishing touches were the shoes, of course. Hannah wore the Cate pumps, a design named after Cate Blanchett, in a new custom print for fall/winter 2018. You can see Chloe's signature moon motif in the buckle. Chloe wore her Tori heels, a sandal named after Tori Amos, in mustard elaphe with oversized vintage buttons, a detail that runs through next season's collection.

Before they slipped their phones into their Gabriela Hearst bags — Chloe carried the Patsy bag in forest green crocodile, Hannah carried the Demi in black calf — there was just enough time for photos. Dressed head-to-toe in New York brands, with a 57th floor-view of Manhattan behind them, it was a scene that celebrated the best of the city's design talent — and the perfect mood in which to begin American fashion's most important night.

 Ready to go: The pair pose for photos on the terrace of Chloe's 57th floor apartment.

Ready to go: The pair pose for photos on the terrace of Chloe's 57th floor apartment.

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