If cruelty-free footwear (or just cute canvas skimmers) are on your list for spring, local retailers are carrying an array of leather-free styles. 2008 is a great year for vegan shoes because, among other reasons, it’s the 100th anniversary of sporty shoe company Converse, which is offering uniquely designed styles to celebrate. Iconic line Keds brings out colorful patterns for the season, while newcomer Green Toe offers styles made from all-recycled materials. Find these shoes in Asheville at Tops for Shoes (27 N. Lexington Ave.), Kohls (149 Bleachery Blvd.), Shoe Carnival (170 S. Tunnel Road) and Country Casuals Discount Shoes (1266 Brevard Road).
1Hund(Red) Artists “Little Red Ridinghood” by Converse, at www.converse.com; find All-star and One Star styles locally.
“Toepaz” skimmers by Green Toe (from Simple Shoes) are made of hemp, organic cotton and bamboo with a recycled car tire outsole.
Keds’ gold floral-print wedge proves that just because this shoe company has been around since 1916, these aren’t your great grandmother’s slip-ons.
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• Are you in desperate need of a fashion update or know someone who is? The Biltmore Courtyard Shops (Wink, Turner & Company, The Spa at Biltmore Village, Fig and Blue Ridge Limousine) are teaming up for the Rescue Makeover Contest, awarding one deserving person a total makeover. The prize includes limo service, hair and makeup, manicure and pedicure and lunch. Visit any of these shops to nominate your friend by Thursday, April 10. Check Xpress for the results of the Monday, April 21, makeover.
• You might have your spring party/work/beach outfit in order, but what are you going to wear while hiking, biking and communing with nature? Diamond Brand solves this conundrum with a spring fashion runway show on Saturday, April 12. The 10 a.m. event takes place at the retailer’s Arden store and, according to a press release, features “the best apparel and equipment for outdoor adventures as well as the perfect outfit for an evening out on the town.” Enjoy complimentary breakfast, coffee, and a 20 percent storewide discount. Best of all, entry is free. Info: 209-0311.