Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Edelman vs. Edelman

I've been a Sam and Libby fan since the nineties. They've always had cute shoes that weren't overpriced and never gave me blisters.

For awhile though I forgot about them until looking at Johanna Cox's old dc blog (ASJINE) and read her rave reviews on the Sam Edelman Women's Carrie T-Strap Flat. The name sounded so familiar so like any good researcher, I googled it. =) To my pleasant surprise this sam was of Sam and Libby! Needless to say I purchased my own Carrie flat and the rest is history.

Flashforward to a few days ago and I read somewhere about Libby Edelman shoes. Yes! Libby now has her own line as well with Famous Footwear showcasing her spring designs (click here!)

Both the Sam Edelman and Libby Edelman lines have featured snakeskin on their flats and lots and lots of gladiator sandals. This husband and wife duo have been in the shoe business for a very long time. According to Libby Edelman's CFDA profile, the duo sold the Sam and Libby shoe company in 1996 and retired for five years. They re-emerged with the Edelman Shoe Inc.

Sam's CFDA profile notes: Going from 3 to 88 million sales in only 4 years, the Edelman’s single handedly placed the ballet shoe on the map.

I have to say thank you to the Edelmans for designing and creating such wonderful shoes!

Here's an old article from the New York Times about the couple and how they met!


By Lawrence M. Fisher
Published: Sunday, October 8, 1989

Sam and Libby Edelman fell in love at a 1979 shoe fair. He was there as a salesman for his father's business, she as footwear fashion editor for Seventeen magazine. Now they own Sam & Libby California, which offers a popular line of leather flats.

Along the way, Mr. Edelman, 37 years old, was an executive at Kenneth Cole and El Greco, and Mrs. Edelman, 36, was director of public relations at Calvin Klein. The native New Yorkers headed west in 1983 to join Esprit de Corp., a San Francisco sportswear company. In July 1987, they left Esprit to form Sam & Libby.

In Europe that summer, they saw young women wearing ballet flats.

"'I thought, if fashion comes from Europe, the ballet will be the next hot shoe in America,'' Mr. Edelman said. ''But we couldn't just copy the Europeans - American fashion needs to be frilly, flirty and decorated - so we put a big leather bow on it.''

Sam and Libby has since sold 1.5 million pairs of leather ballet flats, at about $30 a pair. Stores carrying the line include Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Nordstrom. It has branched out into many designs, all flats except for one short, heeled boot.

For fall, the company has black velvet slippers decorated with small mirrors, and burgundy suede flats with gold charms. For spring, it offers multicolored huaraches, batik-fabric flats and strap sandals dubbed the Straptease.

Mrs. Edelman said, ''We look to us and our lives'' for ideas. ''We're stylish and we know what's happening, but at the same time we're not outrageous.''

supplemental reading:
Libby Edelman CFDA profile
Sam Edelman CFDA profile

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