Friday, November 9, 2012

Giddy for Libby: A Fashion Interview with Libby Edelman

When Yves Saint-Laurent said, "The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves", he might as well been referring to Sam and Libby Edelman, the First Couple of fashionable footwear. 

While we’ve been sporting the eponymously-named Sam & Libby ballet flats since our private, all-girls high school days, the editors of Luxe File Chicago fell in love with the alluring couple when their glamorous personal life was splashed across the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in 2011. We salivated over their ultra-chic retreat – a celebration of relaxed and rustic living - in Sherman, Connecticut, Libby’s fête-ready wardrobe and her fierce collection of equestrian riding boots.

Stable Girl: Libby with her horse in Connecticut

During a recent interview with Sam Edelman, who was in town to promote the launch of his new fall and holiday collections at Nordstrom in Chicago, we had the unexpected pleasure of meeting our favorite style icon, who looked every inch the former fashion editor clad in body-confident black slacks, the perfect white top and signature Edelman booties. 

We sat down with the fashion glamazon, who shared a few of her favorite things with Luxe File Chicago readers.

Tell us about the new collection(s) and what inspired you about it. I’m sure Sam told you – you can be inspired by ANYTHING. With Sam, he is always looking at handbags and jewelry to see how he can put that into the shoes and boots. That’s where we get a lot of our inspiration.

Getting inspiration from jewelry designer great, Jennifer Fisher

Do you have a favorite piece from the collection(s). I’m wearing one of my favorites, the “Kit” boot. I like it because it’s simple and it features the new banana heel boot. Sam doesn’t like me to be too high (Libby is 5’8”) but I’m wearing them anyway. I don’t care. It has a platform so it’s very comfortable.

How did you and Sam meet. We met through shoes. I was working at Seventeen magazine and had to cover the shoe market. He was in business with his dad and I went to his showroom. He asked me out but it didn’t quite work out right away. Eventually, it was a very fast, whirlwind romance.

Sam and Libby at their New York office

What do you love most about shoe designing and creating shoes for women. Whether we’re shopping for jewelry, handbags or clothing, or we’re on the websites, I take what strikes me on an emotional level and then I throw it at Sam. For a guy, Sam has this great feminine instinct. He knows what we all want to wear and he’s a great shopper, too.

What is important to you when you’re designing a shoe. Sam really does all the designing, I’m only trying to give him some inspiration. We put our all into everything we do, whether it’s marketing or design. We’re always thinking about what women really need. Because it’s easy so overdesign, we have to pull ourselves back and say "OK, this is what we love but how will women wear it?"

All Tied Up 

Give us a quick “Day in the Life of Libby” snapshot. We get up and try to workout (I do say “try”). When we get to the office, there’s always a lot of meetings – design, marketing, business development. Every hour of every single day is different.

Which charities or causes do you support. We’ve always supported breast cancer research and as the shoe business has been so wonderful to us, we established a scholarship endowment at the Two Ten Footwear Foundation (an organization that provides financial, social, and educational services to members of the shoe industry).

Since you’ve been in Chicago, what’s something you like about the town. We didn’t stay near the store (Nordstrom) but in a more neighborhood-y kind of place. We like it because it gives us the feeling of what it would be like to live here. I love the beautiful architecture. It reminds me of being in London. I’ve never seen that side of Chicago.

Score: Love-Love

What’re you doing when you’re not being Sam’s muse and collaborator. I do photography, that’s my creative outlet. Sam and I do so much together. We’re learning golf and we play tennis. We also have three older children and are trying to get them to spend more time with us.

In an age where divorce is skyrocketing, it’s lovely to see a couple who spends so much time together and has a lot in common. Is that yours and Sam’s secret for a successful marriage. For sure. We do have so much in common. We have the same passions and we say and think the same things. We’re like twins!

Mottos matter

Your fashion mottos. Whether it’s my career or the way I dress, my motto is: "Have fun in life".

What’s next for Sam & Libby Edelman. So much. It’s whatever we come up with. We’re working on a lot of things. 

Photo Credits
Lead photo of Libby courtesy of Melanie Acevedo

Written by Kerry & Sally Shorr

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