Monthly Archives: April 2015

Liberty x Vans

American footwear brand Vans has joined forces with London based Liberty Art Fabrics for a limited collection of beautifully printed plimsolls.

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Established in 1875 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty, the Liberty store enticed a society intoxicated by Japanese culture with an impressive collection of ornaments, fabric and objets d’art. Liberty was likened to an Eastern Bazaar, and it came to be an important meeting place for artists. Liberty was one of the first to embrace the new Art Nouveau style in the mid 1890s and became known for intricate textiles. These traditions are still at the heart of the company today, with in-house teams creating beautiful collections of scarves, accessories and fabrics (Liberty Art Fabrics).

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Vans was established in 1966 in Anaheim California by Paul Van Doren. The Van Doren Rubber Company as it was first known was unique in its manufacturing capabilities. On the very first day of opening, 12 customers purchased shoes, which were made that day and ready to pick up in the afternoon. The Vans #44 deck shoes that are now known as the Authentic were born. Through the years Vans’ designs have evolved, and they draw inspiration from all aspects of contemporary culture in their collaborations while keeping their signature look and chic Californian vibe.

The Vans x Liberty collection celebrates the heritage of two brands with an appreciation for high quality, modern footwear.

The Liberty Multi-Floral Classic Slip-On is available in a beautiful colour palette ideal for the summer months.

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The Era uses two muted colour ways including a low-key Liberty Deco print and a unique floral and stripe blend.

Let us know which style is your favourite on Twitter @SOLETRADER

Ilse Jacobsen joins SOLETRADER

We’re lucky to have some great brands within our SOLETRADER pack – and we’re always really excited when a new designer joins the gang. We’ve recently had the honour of welcoming the contemporary Danish brand Ilse Jacobsen founded in Hornbaek.

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Never heard of Hornbaek? It’s an idyllic seaside town in northeast Denmark that’s famous for its relaxing atmosphere, quaint harbour and wide, sandy beaches. A backdrop for Ilse Jacobsen’s life and creativity, it’s the kind of place that envelops all your senses with its blustery charm.


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The shoes in this collection reflect a natural and relaxed attitude combined with Scandinavian simplicity, elegance and femininity. And with celebrities like Alexa Chung and Ellie Goulding sporting Ilse’s shoes we think this brand is definitely one to watch.

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Tweet us your favourite #IlseJacobsen sandal @SOLETRADER or leave us a comment on Facebook. Even better, let us know if you’re already sporting a pair of these sandals in the beautiful weather we’re enjoying this week!

Behind the SOLE – Fashion buyer

How to be a fashion buyer

Take a sneak peek behind the scenes

What does a typical day as a Soletrader fashion buyer involve?

It’s such a varied job, it’s not one answer. It isn’t a processing job, it’s much more creative than that. You could be placing orders, out at meetings, having strategic discussions or looking at analytics – in truth, every day is different. You just don’t know what’s coming next. The only thing that’s guaranteed in any day, is lots of tea. We get through endless amounts of tea in our office.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

It’s that buzz you get when the shoe you’ve ordered arrives in the warehouse and the anticipation of how it will do. There’s a real adrenaline rush when you see it start to sell and that’s the part I love. There’s an addiction factor to what we do. It’s not something you can easily put into words.

How did you decide you wanted to buy shoes for a living?

I fell into it really. I started off as a Buyers Assistant in sports clothing, then progressed to Junior Buyer and moved to London, which is where I landed my first footwear job. When I got my first job in footwear, I didn’t have a clue about shoes. Some might say I still haven’t today!

What’s your best piece of advice for someone who’s interested in getting into buying?

It sounds clichéd, but you have to have a love of fashion, be passionate about it and work hard. You spend the most time at work, so you need to enjoy it. You need to have good mathematical skills, be a great communicator and always be ahead of the trends. And if my interview was anything to go by, be prepared for a gruelling process!

Behind the scenes at Soletrader HQ

What would you be doing if you weren’t a footwear buyer?

Honestly, probably some sort of mentoring or teaching. I still hope to do that one day.

How do you unwind after a bad day?

I’m pretty good at managing bad days, I’ve learnt not to let the stress get to me. I’ve a healthy love of music and I’m happy to let the beats blast away the blues. I’m into funk, soul and jazz – my favourite track at the moment is Sunshine Anderson’s “I’ve Heard It All Before”.

Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?

You may find it surprising to find out that I don’t actually have that many pairs of shoes! I take the typical male approach of having one or two pairs that I wear until they wear out. The thing is, when you’re in buying, you’re always looking to next season’s stock, so it makes it harder to buy shoes on a personal level. My favourite pair at the moment are these white Emporio Armani trainers that I wear with everything.

What trends should we be looking out for this season?

This season, you’ll be seeing white, clean, old skool, court styles and premium materials. Slides will be huge again this year and sports luxe pieces are going to be everywhere.

How to get into buying

This is Hot Right Now

Rita Ora O-Ray trainers

Never one to let us down, Rita Ora was the first female artist to work with sportswear giants adidas and is showing no signs of slowing down now with her latest collaborative project. Her newest collection scratches beneath the surface, using futuristic X-Ray prints and heat scans to create what is dubbed as the ‘O-Ray’.

Here at Soletrader HQ, we’ve been throwing around theories as to the idea behind the bones, with stories ranging from Rita’s love of cutting up vintage clothes to more philosophical musings on getting under the surface of modern pop culture. One thing we can agree on though, is that we all want X-rays on our shoes. Obviously.

 Rita Ora adidas originals trainers

This pack is your one-stop ticket to statement sneakers, incorporating iconic adidas styles with graphic prints and inky-black textures. Pay homage to retro favourites in the shell-toe Superstar trainer or keep your look casual in the laid back honey sneaker.

Rita Ora adidas trainers

Why not follow Rita’s lead in the sports scene and freshen up in this unique re-imagining of the classic Tech Super style. Featuring a top-down O-Ray encased in classic three stripe adidas overlays, this is a whole new take on wearing your heart on your sleeve.

The O-Ray pack landed here at Soletrader last week and first predictions are that these styles won’t be around long. Shop for yours right now >>

Happy Easter!

Admit it: you’re excited for Easter. The extra long weekend signals the beginning of spring and that can only mean dresses, lightweight jackets and no more winter boots, right? Here’s hoping…

Whether or not the sun decides to come out we have put together your ultimate Easter footwear guide, you can thank us later!

For those rainy days, make sure you check out Joules wellies – our Soletrader bunny took quite a liking to these patterned boots. (If you’re feeling particularly inspired, check out our social media channels, our furry friend needs a new name and we would love your help! You could even win a £75 voucher code if we pick your suggestion).

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If the sun makes an appearance, our Fred Perry trainers and Vivienne Westwood + Melissa shoes are your perfect options.

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Finally if, like us, you’re planning on crashing out on the sofa, watching box sets and eating way too much then schedule some time for online shopping and check out these marvelous metallic Ted Baker trainers. They will make going back to work on Tuesday just a little bit easier.

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Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to share it with us on social media…

Twitter: @soletrader
Instagram: soletrader_shoes
Facebook: www.facebook.com/soletradershoes

Happy Easter everybody!