Bootleg Airstream @ Austin Psych Fest

by Meredith Ballentine in


Hiya friends! We're taking Bootleg Airstream out to Austin Psych Fest for some much-needed spring sillies and Vitamin D next month, May 2-4. If you're one of the lucky guys and gals headed to this year's event, be sure to stop in for a hello and, of course, a little shoe magic.

The trailer will be fully stocked with all kinds of truly wondrous styles, including these rare beauties from cult favorite LD Tuttle, and even a few of these rare designer samples. We'll be rockin' all weekend.

Can't make it? Never fear - you can shop the Airstream's current styles (and even some archived pairs!) anytime online right from our Bootleg Market closet. :)

top: Vietnam performing at Austin Psych Fest 6 (2013), image by Jake Clifford courtesy Austin Psych Fest.

top: Vietnam performing at Austin Psych Fest 6 (2013), image by Jake Clifford courtesy Austin Psych Fest.


Bootleg's Back! From Winter Woes to Happy Spring - A Letter From The Founder

by Sarah Ellison Lewis


Where have we been? It’s a long story.

One year ago, at the pinnacle of our happiness when we launched bootlegmarket.com in beta, we were unexpectedly sent out into the startup ocean without an oar.

We had to learn how to navigate sans safety net, without the things that had made us feel comfortable and safe. We honed skills we didn’t know we would ever have to learn.

We had to become flash-pan chief technology officers. I found myself interviewing java coders. You can imagine the out-of-body experience this might cause a shoe-loving, editorially-trained chief creative.

We went through what I am calling our winter of discontent - Meredith and I had to swim through an icy ocean. For a few months, signs of light or hope remained scarce, at times feeling completely nonexistent. Even our mascot shoe store/showroom, Bootleg Airstream, needed a new city code passed to be open (after more than two happily undisturbed years), so we helped Austin write the only one of its kind in Texas. Onward we plowed. Every hour of every day, we found solutions to any challenge, and moved on to the next one. And hour by hour, we were still alive. The lights were still on.

After one year, and the worst winter we’ve had in many moons, there are wildflowers all over the Texas highways. We've made it.

I thought of the Lost Civilizations shoe collection by Anastasia Radevich many times this winter, how I'd post them in our Goodbye and Thanks letter if we were to hang up our hat. And I felt every possible emotion that one might feel during the darkest hours of taking massive risks in life.

images courtesy Style Bubble and Anastasia Radevich

The most important part of enduring was not the fear of failure or even fiscal loss, as much as the question of what in the hell would we do, or be, if this company we envisioned didn’t grow from a sapling? Our biggest cost is always opportunity – not the cash in our hand or the shoes on our feet, but that potential of what we can become...

We had become our company, and it had become us. And if there was no opportunity anymore, if we had lost it, who were we? And could we live with that?

My father’s simple wisdom came in loud and clear, "don’t be like that monkey with his fist stuck in the tree hole, holding onto the banana. That monkey won’t let go, and that’s how monkeys get caught.”

So we let go. By accepting that no matter the outcome we weren’t going to let anything rob us of our joy, a funny thing happened … it was the exact fuel we needed. By releasing ourselves, letting go of this "success" thing and accepting the possibility of failure, we were able to see the light again. Just after the new year, we put down the winter woes and happily jumped heels-first into 2014, updating the site so we could launch, for real.

Which brings us to today. You may (or may not) notice the difference in the experience on the Market, and you may not take the time to, and that’s OK. We've found people spend a large chunk of their time seeking/looking at beautiful shoes, while simultaneously discovering new paths to shoe inspiration, on Bootleg Market. And these devoted footwear folks have needed a single place online to share in a beautiful shoe experience for a long time. We are very happily here to serve as the captains of this new world ... and it is growing.

And since it is not yet abundantly clear what 
Bootleg Market does (sometimes), here’s the gist:

You can buy and sell with your friends, as well as directly from brands + boutiques. You can collect dream shoes (we call it "obsess") and follow friends (aka "stalk" your favorite shoe people) through your own personal online closet. So it acts like eBay, minus the yucky hassle/lowballing/bidding, and it looks like the most beautiful shoe magazine, a la our Newsprint.

We realize what it doesn’t do, and what it isn’t, and we promise we're slowly evolving every day to make the site even easier (and fun!) for you to use. Make sure you play with the search engine - it's pretty darn fun, as we have editorialized it, enticing you into things you never thought you'd find in a shoe site... read more about our search update here.

Soon, we will have a lot more Street shoe snaps, frequently updated and linked to the actual shoe for sale on the Market. So amazing, right?

We hope you're our friend on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook etc. Please do hashtag #bootlegmarket when you load a picture of your shoes; we love to regram shoe snaps from our people, and you might even win a free pair...

We opened the Airstream in May 2011, and bootlegmarket.com in March 2013. It’s been a few years of incredible dreams come true. We are elated to finally aggregate the site, like startups do.

Please always stay in touch with your thoughts and ideas on how we can bring you shoe joy. We intend to get back to Paris and back into our shoe buying groove in the fall, having earned our life’s masters degree in entrepreneurship. And we intend to become the market presence that brings the shoe view straight to your social feeds - whatever you prefer. Please also do continue to send us designers, sellers, and shoe fiends who want to join us and be part of our growing world … we always adore knowing what you are seeing and loving, too. You can reach us anytime at info@bootlegmarket.com.

Until then, all we can say is thank you so very much for your support, lending an ear, and helping us get here. Our cup runneth over. Now load those shoes so we can stalk your amazing closet!

Endless thanks xoxxx,
Sarah & Meredith


March Madness Makeovers - Sexy Search Engines, Oh My!

by Sarah Ellison Lewis in


This crazy thing happened when we started rearing our little baby search engine out of beta ... it became a dream come true.

What in the world might that mean? Well, it's pretty entertaining to search on our site. Like when you enter GOLD, all these beautiful editorialized gold ideas - that link to actual shoes, many for sale! - fill the screen.

The same thing happens when you begin typing a person's name, or material. Like ALLISON, or LEATHER, or your favorite brand, like LOUboutin...

So go ahead - take that much-needed coffee break and spend a spell having fun looking through our adorable shoe-discovery rabbit holes. Hop hop ... Endless entertainment thanks to our amazing Bootleg Market members who, whether selling or showcasing their shoe collections, describe every pair with love. Now you can jump into their worlds via these funny searches, and even become a part of this exciting new space by sharing your own shoe stories.

Makes Google seem a little tired, eh? We think so...


Beautiful Bright Bundling

by Sarah Ellison Lewis in ,


 Outside of Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside of Acne Studios, PFW FW13

Outside Vivienne Westwood, PFW FW13

Outside Vivienne Westwood, PFW FW13

Outside Emanuel Ungaro, PFW FW13

Outside Emanuel Ungaro, PFW FW13

Outside Rochas, PFW FW13

Outside Rochas, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

 Outside Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside Giambattista Valli, PFW FW13

 Outside Giambattista Valli, PFW FW13

Outside Stella McCartney, PFW FW13

Outside Stella McCartney, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

 Mugler, PFW FW13

 Mugler, PFW FW13

Street style + runway shots from the Fall/Winter presentations, captured in New York and Paris, February 2013.


Christian Louboutin Releases Nudes Collection

by Andie Salazar


Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Nude has been on the trend radar for years now. When it comes to fashion and beauty products, the shade provides a fresh, au naturel look. Or at least that’s the intent.

The color nude as it is widely accepted (and sold)  is, in fact, extremely limited when you think about it. If you've ever gone in search of that must-have nude pump or lipstick only to find the shade didn't match your skin tone in the slightest, then you're familiar with this qualm. Enter Christian Louboutin’s The Nudes capsule collection. The famed footwear designer is out to redefine the color nude, and we're definitely on board with the idea.

Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Released Oct. 11, the collection is Louboutin’s (applaudingly politically correct) answer to the limitations of nude as we know it. The Nudes includes five classic styles, such as the Pigalle and the Fifi, in five shades of nude. Hearing this, we can't help but shake our heads in wonder at the fact that this hasn't happened sooner. Regardless, we’re ecstatic that the collection is on the market now, offering women of all skin tones a chance to experience the magically leg-lengthening effects of a nude shoe.

As Louboutin explained the phenomenon, “The shoes are there to give a woman an extra lift, not to take attention away from the legs and what she is wearing. They disappear like magic and become a fluid extension of her legs, as in a sketch, elongating the silhouette.”  

And when you put it like that ... who wouldn't want to get their hands on a pair?

While the five shades are easy to differentiate, if you’re going to dish out the money for Louboutins, you'll want to be 100% certain you’re getting the right nude. Luckily, the luxe brand is two steps ahead. Accompanying The Nudes is the free Louboutin Shades app. This nifty piece of footwear tech plays matchmaker between your skin tone and Louboutin's five shades of nude, which range from a fair blushy color dubbed "Lea" to the rich chestnut "Ada." It's as user-friendly as can be - simply take a photo of your foot, and the app selects your shade. But in case you have doubts in the system, you can swap in the other four nudes to see for yourself how they fare against your skin. Pretty genius if you ask us.

 

Images of Louboutin Shades app

Images of Louboutin Shades app

 Could this be the start of an industry-wide broadening of the definition of nude? We sure hope so. Not to mention we’d love to see more of this kind of innovative tech from our favorite footwear brands in the days to come – load our phones up with shoe apps please!

 

And after finding your nude solemate on the Louboutin website, scroll through the amazing pairs of red soles up for grabs on BOOTLEG Market...