Interview with Leslie Gallin, the #GirlBoss Executive Paving the Way for Footwear

Leslie Gallin, President of Footwear at  UBM Fashion,  oversees all of UBM Fashion's footwear trade shows, including FN PLATFORM @ MAGIC, which she single handedly launched in 2010.

Leslie started her career at a time when #girlbosses were a rare breed and worked her way to become one of the industry’s most respected leaders. Through FN PLATFORM @ MAGIC, Leslie works with retailers and designers to accommodate the needs of consumers. She doesn’t follow the trends, rather she sets them. Leslie’s dedication and continuous work with brands also includes a nurturing component, in which she helps emerging designers find their place in the massive footwear industry, helping them establish a name for themselves. Some of today’s largest brands grew under Leslie’s guidance.

Faten Abdallah (FA): You’re the President of Footwear at UBM Fashion. What inspired you to get into the fashion/retail world? 

Leslie Gallin (LG):  I grew up in a time where people dressed.  The finer the clothes the impression / perception was the more successful.  It also posed the opportunity to travel.  I wanted to be around smart , stylish , creative well-traveled folks.

FA: How did you enter the fashion world?

LG:  I originally started in the fashion industry running apparel divisions for Geoffrey Beene, Louis Feraud, Escada and ABS.  After several years, a friend of mine introduced me to someone who was taking over a “Shoe Trade Show” called WSA and this is where it all began.  It was love at first try on and I quickly realized footwear was my passion. The footwear industry has changed tremendously and it’s been really amazing to see the growth of this industry through the years.

FA: What is a typical day in your life as the President of Footwear at UBM Fashion? 

LG: Networking, mentoring and strategizing for the next 18-months is my daily routine.  Every day is fun.  Both sides of the aisle ( as I like to say) which our business services are full of wonderful people who are passionate and they inspire me and the work that we do.

FA: Let's talk about footwear.  What are some things people should look for when deciding to purchase new styles?

LG:  I always suggest planning for the future, never wait until the last minute to find shoes or an outfit.  Have ready to go standards – women and men- Black – Brown – heels or dress shoes.  Always have special occasion and casual beach footwear just in case… and of course, have fun… go for something out of your comfort zone- bright color, fabric and or style.

FA: Another show is coming up.  Can you tell us about that?
LG:  FN PLATFORM  will be taking  place this coming August 14th to 16th in Las Vegas. The show is what I like to call, the “Davos” of the footwear industry. Global leaders in the footwear industry come together twice a year to shape the industry, network and shop for shoes. Our showcase is the pillar of branded footwear and offers men’s, women’s, junior’s and children’s brands from more than 20 countries. Every show is special but this show, we’re offering a truly innovative overall experience that will reach beyond transactional lines to integrate interactive activities that will touch all the senses for a modern and all-encompassing feel all under one roof. We have celebrities such as Blair Underwood coming on-site to launch their collections, several art installations that will offer an interactive, visual experience, educational seminars and networking opportunities and the launch of our Emerging Designer showcase, to nurture and guide six hand-selected promising young designers.

 Today’s world , it’s all about the experience. People are interested in the story behind a brand or a store. They want to touch and smell and be moved by the philanthropy of a brand/ retailer.

Visit us at 

·         Follow along on Instagram @FNPLATFORM

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