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What goes into a pair of $1k shoes?

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The power of heels: World’s Top designers muse on shoes

Women’s shoes are often regarded as small torture chambers for our feet, designed to give us an instant leg-up in the glamor charts while reducing us to an eye-watering hobble come the end of the day.

But there is so much more to the female footwear story than this one, painful, cliché.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum explores the extremes in footwear from around the globe, presenting some 200 pairs that mark both historical and conceptual landmarks from the vertiginous platforms of the 18th century Manchu, to the teetering Vivienne Westwood heels of 1990’s.

Inspired by the exhibition, CNN Style spoke to four international shoe designers — whimsical veteran Manolo Blahnik, arbiter of glamor Charlotte Dellal of Charlotte Olympia, forward-thinking conceptualist Pierre Hardy, and red carpet mainstay Stuart Weitzman — about their own shoe philosophies, delving into these tiny feats of design to discover the imagination, history and overall complexity of fashion’s most popular accessory.

Manolo Blahnik

Spaniard Manolo Blahnik is the designer and founder of the eponymous luxury shoe brand.

Spaniard Manolo Blahnik is the designer and founder of the eponymous luxury shoe brand.

On improving upon nature: The feet have always been the inspiration, the trigger for all things. If you have horrible feet, I always see the challenge to make it better. I love that very much; it’s part of my culture.

A shoe is completing a woman in the sense of converting the foot into something else. Even the ugliest foot is going to be okay with a shoe that I do. This is the redeeming quality of a shoe well-made.

On the trap of nostalgia: This is a very confused period. People are too young to know that the proportions and the platforms and the 70’s were just repulsive. They think it’s just fabulous, but it’s not. People don’t have memories anymore after the huge confusion of the internet. Too much information. Maybe eventually they’ll come back and say “Ha! This is horrible,” and then go back again to normal things, beautiful, elegant things.

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On the wealth of history: I’ve always love extremities in statues, Greek and Roman, in museums all around the world. My mother was completely addicted to museums and I was addicted too.

Some of the shoes [I design] go back to Greece and the Hellenistic period, and things like that, but they’re completely different. Nothing like that was in Hellenistic times. My mind works that way: I just put details that remind of me of that kind of period. You’ve got moments.

Sometimes I really go into historical moments. For instance, I did a shoe — the Morfia — and the front is inspired by when Alexander the Great went to Babylon. There he got married with the wonderful Roxana. This idea came from an 18th century print. Eighteenth century prints of the imagination are not exact, but you know, this is the idea where it came from.

On perfection: I like to do with absolute perfection the best I can. This is really my challenge nowadays. As you get to a certain age, you’ve got to do the best you can because it’s the only way you can really get satisfaction.

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The Anglo-Brazilian Charlotte Dellal founded her shoe label, Charlotte Olympia, in 2008.

On the high heel as object of art: I love collecting beautiful things. I love objects and, to me, the shoe is a wearable object that stands alone beautifully. It looks good on the foot, off the foot, or on your mantelpiece.

Just from a design aesthetic, they have a wonderful shape and feel. With the high heel, there’s the negative space between the heel and the ball of the foot, as well as the shoe itself. It becomes sculptural.

On the transformative power of accessories: It’s a cliché in saying, but I do think accessories — shoes particularly — change an outfit. You can literally dress up when you put on a pair of high heel shoes. It changes the whole thing: the posture, the attitude, the feeling. Everything. It elevates you in every sense of the word; it makes you feel somewhat special. You feel that bit different with high heels.

On pain over pleasure: As a female designer, I get to wear my products, so I really know what it’s like to live in them, walk in them, wear them. I am the fit model.

I think that a lot of women accept that shoes can be painful, but I like to make them as comfortable as they possibly can be. It’s not so much about “Oh, they look beautiful, you’ll break them in after a few days, or a few dances.” It’s very important for my shoes to be functional, not just look pretty. It’s not about compromising one for the other.

French designer Pierre Hardy originally trained in fine arts and dance.

French designer Pierre Hardy originally trained in fine arts and dance.

On the future present: Fashion is short-view sci-fi. It’s sci-fi for tomorrow, not into a century or two centuries.

There is something about the projection that you have to reach to create new shapes and to invent a new type of object, but at the same time fashion talks about femininity and about elegance and about chic. All these notions are from the past, almost historic, and make reference to ideal shapes that we already know.

That’s something I love about fashion: to combine the desire for the future not with nostalgia, but with the knowledge of what was before; to try to combine those two opposite elements.

There was a period when people were much more prospective, and believed much more in the future and in progress — for example, in the 50’s and the 60’s, and even the 70’s sometimes. But nowadays we embrace a lot of different periods, a lot of different styles altogether. I think regarding artists and the history of art, our period is very baroque moment, a much combined moment, not a new aesthetic moment.

On feminist footwear: In our society, you know, civilization, walking barefoot is forbidden. Totally. Even if you aren’t aware of it, this taboo is included in your mind. It’s an obligation, a constraint. I think shoes and this love of shoes is a way to twist this constraint into a pleasure. It’s the definition of feminism or desire. Because you don’t have this reason to go barefoot, let’s make the shoe as glorious as possible.

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Two Nigerian men arrested with fake South African passports in Thailand

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Nong Khai immigration police, Thailand on Monday October 16th, arrested two Nigerian men who were found to be using fake passports.

The Nigerian nationals bearing the names Katego Ofentse Makabane and Wayne Junior Shinbambo, both 35, attempted to cross the border to Laos at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge.

They told immigration officers they were going to the South African embassy in Vientiane.
However, when officers checked their South African passports they discovered a number of discrepancies.

During further questioning the two men confessed to using fake South African passports and admitted they actually from Nigeria.

One man said he had entered Thailand at Phuket Airport while the other said he entered at Padang Besar.

The men said a friend in Thailand made the fake passports for them after their original passports had expired.

© 2017, Ikrueyen Vickky. All rights reserved.

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From Europe to Silicon Valley: McLoughlin and Rein on their journey at Disrupt Berlin

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Graffiti on Berlin Wall, Berlin, GermanyTechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, our premier European event is fast approaching this December. And that means some of the top players from Silicon Valley will be coming over.
In this context, we are always interested in the experiences of European entrepreneurs who have made the transition from a successful European startup to joining the ecosystem in Silicon Valley. So we’re delighted to announce two new speakers for the conference who have been through that very journey. And not only that, one ended up investing in the other, making for an even more fascinating conversation.Andy McLoughlin
Partner
SoftTech VC

Andy is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of Silicon Valley’s most active seed-stage venture capital firms where he primarily invests in SaaS, vertical industry solutions, and developer tools.
Prior to joining SoftTech, Andy was co-founder of London-headquartered Huddle, an enterprise SaaS collaboration platform that was acquired in 2017. Andy’s angel investment portfolio includes innovative B2B products like Pipedrive, Intercom, Apiary (acquired by Oracle), Buffer and Bugsnag, as well as consumer services including Postmates, Secret Escapes, HER, and Calm.
Andy co-founded and is the US Trustee for the Founders Pledge, a charity that promotes altruism in early-stage entrepreneurs by enabling them to donate a percentage of personal proceeds following an exit. He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s birthday honors list for services to the UK technology industry. Follow him on twitter @bandrew

Timo Rein
Co-founder/CEO
Pipedrive

Timo Rein, co-founder and CEO of Pipedrive an activity-based simple sales management tool that helps over 60,000 sales teams to get more organised and focused, has 15+ years of experience as a salesman, sales manager and software entrepreneur. Timo is passionate about sales tactics and has always had a knack for reading people.

As CEO, Timo is responsible for setting long-term product vision and business-critical strategy goals. While Pipedrive has grown to over 300 employees working from different locations in New York, Lisbon, London and Estonia, Timo is still closely involved in the hiring process of new people and helps to find the best possible professional and personal fit between the new employee, the job or the rest of the team.

Prior to founding Pipedrive Timo worked for eleven years as one of the three partners at Vain & Partners, a sales consulting and training company with clientele like PwC, Coca Cola and Nissan. Timo’s goal was to create programs that would help different companies and people sell more, and manage better. Timo worked with about 30-40 companies, and 500 people each year to figure out ways to better sales results in different industries.

Timo also considers selling books door-to-door for 3 months in 2000 (in California, US) with Southwestern Comp, crucial to his sales experience that was eventually put to use as the architecture of Pipedrive. He was in top 1% performers among 4,000 sales people and while he never thought he was the type of person who could sell, he pulled off 14-hour-long days, 6 days a week, and 12 weeks in a row.

Timo’s first full-time job as a university student was a recruiter when he worked for four years interviewing people applying for managerial and specialist positions in different companies. Timo studied psychology at Tartu University and completed his BA studies in 1999.


Disrupt Berlin 2017 takes place December 4-5 at the historic Arena Berlin in the heart of Berlin, Germany.

Get your Disrupt tickets ASAP or rather right now to save 30% off of your tickets. You’ll see the Startup Battlefield competition, in which a handful of startups pitch our judges with the hopes of winning the coveted Disrupt Cup and a massive cash prize.

And you’ll get to chat with representatives from scores of promising startups in Startup Alley, see amazing on stage content, and unwind after a long day at the show with a cocktail and some new friends at the Disrupt after party.

Are you a startup? The Startup Alley Exhibitor Package is your best bet to get the greatest exposure by exhibiting your company or product directly on the Disrupt Berlin show floor and if you get your exhibitor package before this Friday 29 September you’ll get an additional general admission ticket! Check it out.

 

 

© 2017, Paul Umoh. All rights reserved.

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Nigerian News

Man goes temporarily insane after wife gives birth to conjoined babies in Lagos.

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A man was so distraught when his wife gave birth to conjoined twin baby boys that he became temporarily insane.

Mr Obinna Ugwuoke, from Ebonyi state, and his wife Mrs Amarachi Ugwoke welcomed their sons at First Covenant Hospital in Satellite Town, Lagos on the 8th of May 2 017. The couple, who have two other children, were shocked when they saw that their sons were joined at the stomach and it took a toll on the husband.

The boys have four separate legs, two separate heads, and four hands but are fused from the chest down to the stomach. They have been named James and John.

The parents are awaiting a surgery to separate their sons and their parish has begun raising money to help pay for the medical expenses.

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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