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Pay Less for Pretty Feet

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Sick of having your feet stuffed up in those Uggs all day long? Well, I know I’m tired of seeing them. A few other things I could seriously do without: sweater layering, heavy coats, and (leaving my) gloves (everywhere). Well, luckily, we won’t have to put up with this winter madness much longer. It may be hard to believe, mostly because of the ugly mix of snow and freezing rain and five degree temperatures we witnessed this week, but the fabulous fact is: It’s time for spring shopping! The new merchandise is in and the winter sales are nearly faded out. And if you’re anything like me, it’s not going to take a whole lot of persuading to get you to the malls for some new, brightly colored, airy, skin showing purchases on clothing, shoes, accessories, and whatever else that’s marvelously warm-weather related. And if you’re still not convinced, here’s a great new — *bank account-friendly* — reason to hit the stores: The new designer diffusion lines at Payless were released this week! The merchandise includes shoes, handbags, and belts from hot, fashion-forward designers Abaeté, Lela Rose, and alice + olivia. Oh, and did I mention — it’s all for under $40?

The Abaeté spring 2008 collection is New York-based designer Laura Poretzky’s seventh line for Payless. The new line, dubbed “Miami Deco meets Gene Tierney (a 1940’s stage/film actress, for those of you living strictly in the age of Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightly), debuted at fashion week last September and includes six shoe styles and two handbags. I think the flats are really cute — good for daytime, and also doable for evening events. But my personal fave is the blue clutch — so perfect for a springtime brunch, right?

Blue Frances Clutch, $25                                                      Blue Hayworth Flat, $30


Black Betty Sandal, $30                                                                      Blush Harlow Sling, $30

The spring collection by Lela Rose marks her third collaboration with Payless (and follows her 2007 fall and holiday lines). Rose, who is known for her embellished fabrics and whimsical silhouettes, launched her signature label in 1998. Her new Payless RTW line features eight styles of shoes, two handbags, and a range of belts. Supposedly, they’re inspired by the “sporty spirit of Katharine Hepburn and the glamorous femininity of Audrey Hepburn.” Whatever the inspiration, a fierce pair of pumps for $25 — with this label? I’m sold.


Tortoise Tess Tote, $28                                                        Denim Ariane Pump, $35


Coral Sabrina Sling, $35                                                        Navy Dot Clara Ballet, $30

And now… drum roll, please… the newest Payless-meets-high fashion collaboration: As of this Tuesday (Feb. 12), the alice + olivia spring 2008 line is officially in stores at a Payless ShoeSource near you! Stacey Bendet, who founded alice + olivia in 2002 and is best known for designing the “perfect pants” (The Stacey Pant, as seen on Kate Hudson and Nicky Hilton), unveiled her first Payless RTW collection at New York Fashion Week last September. The line consists of six shoes and two handbags and is said to be “a rock-n-roll twist on 1960’s femininity and 1970’s sophistication.” I say: my feet are ready for some cute, new, colorful footwear!


$30 Silver Olivia Sneaker                                                              Black and Pink Louisa Flat, $30



Lime Aidan Wedge, $40                                                                  White Marjorie Clutch, $25

You can find these great spring looks at 20-plus Payless stores throughout the Valley, or on-line at www.payless.com. And the good news is that, unlike the Target diffusion lines, these are not on sale for just a limited time. You’ll be seeing more from all three of these fabulous designers next season: they all unveiled fall collections at Fashion Week (in stores this August) — so stay tuned…

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