Shoe designers relying more on red carpet to boost sales

Stuart Weitzman

25,000 pairs sold Stuart Weitzman Women’s Nudist Dress Sandal

For designers like Stuart Weitzman, the best place to sell shoes is the red carpet. Entertainment award shows, featuring celebrities wearing the latest fashions, are an increasingly powerful tool for design houses to tout their footwear — thanks in part to the buzz generated by social media. For a beleaguered industry that saw women’s shoe sales drop 9 percent last year, celebrity marketing is seen as a cost-effective way to generate a hit. Take what happened this year with Weitzman’s Nudist sandal, a high-backed shoe that shows off most of the foot. After actress Jennifer Lawrence and about 40 other celebrities were photographed wearing the ankle-strap sandals at multiple events, the designer sold 25,000 pairs. Sales of that type of shoe typically run about 5,000 to 8,000. “This is a real marketing tool for a company like ours and a product like ours,” Weitzman, 72, said in a phone interview. “It’s very important from a business standpoint and we actively go after it.”… Read more