We're not exactly arbiters of the fashion industry, but we've never been particularly thrilled with the designs that Abaete's Laura Poretzky has been doing for Payless ShoeSource. In theory, having an upscale designer create shoe styles for the low-cost retailer is a fantastic idea, but Poretzky's sorta dowdy styles have always left us unimpressed. Maybe it's that we don't like mules. Or that the navy-or-black-and-white floral designs look a bit too Connecticut-WASP for our tastes. (Poretzky, of course, did hone her skills while toiling for Ralph Lauren).

But no matter. This afternoon brings news that Payless has just hired Bernard Figueroa — who was the head of shoe design for Michael Kors — to head up its women's footwear division. As anyone can see from the styles he's designed for
Kors, Figueroa's shoes are all about sass and sex, with a focus on color, height, and exposed skin (the human, not the leather kind). Here's hoping Payless lets him continue to express this vision.

If The Shoe Fits [FashionWeekDaily]