Advanstar's President of Footwear Shares Her Favorite Places

Leslie Gallin, the woman behind the footwear shows at the fashion industry’s Magic, discusses her top spots around the world to go shoe shopping, host intimate meetings, unplug after a trade show, and more.

December 12, 2014, 7:00 AM EST

Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare at the Wynn Las Vegas

Photo: Courtesy of Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare

Leslie Gallin knows what people will be wearing on their feet before they do. As president of footwear for Advanstar Communications, she runs multiple shoe shows, including FN Platform at the mega fashion industry event Magic, which is February 17 to 19 in Las Vegas. Gallin travels about two weeks a month but calls Southern California home.

For the Best Shoe Shopping and Lunch Experience
Barneys and Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills for shoes, and lunch at the Ivy. It’s a lovely environment and good people watching.

To Entertain Sponsors or Clients
Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at the Wynn Las Vegas. It is fine dining at its best in an alfresco setting that can’t be beat. It offers the freshest fish, house-made pastas, and top-notch service.

To See Great Street-Style Footwear
The trends are beginning out west and migrating east, so all of the little pockets here in Los Angeles are interesting. You have an amazing cross-section demographically of what the United States represents here in Southern California. At the Grove you can see what the younger generations are wearing. They’re the ones who are going to be the future with the biggest buying power.

For an Intimate Meeting
I love the Art Deco feel of the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York. It feels very 1930s. At Soho House in Los Angeles they have multiple areas you can dine in, including the roof garden with its amazing retractable ceiling. Every area provides the best view in Los Angeles.

For My Favorite Meal
I like a great steak. In Florence, Buca Mario is the best. They’re old school: waiters dressed in coats and ties. On the way out, they hand you a box of homemade biscotti to take home. It’s an iconic place where you see basically everyone in the business during fashion week. In the United States, it’s always the Palm. They’ve been at it for 85 years and know what they’re doing. And I love the old-Hollywood vibe. It’s a classic. The Palm Too in New York has been my stomping ground for the past 30-plus years.

To Relax After Magic
In Los Angeles, I go to the La Prairie Spa at Hotel Bel-Air. It’s sheer heaven. Order the works.

For Outdoor Entertaining
At the Sunset Restaurant, you feel as if you are in a great bungalow, staring out at the ocean. It is perfect Zuma Beach casual elegance.

To Get Inspired
After each of our fashion events, I need to immerse myself in style. In Paris and Milan, the nature of each town offers wonderful nuggets that inspire me for the design and installations for our next season’s shows. In Milan, sitting in Cova is a wonderful place to see what the international set is wearing and buying. Plus they do a great Negroni. In Paris, I miss the Ritz Paris and its Bar Hemingway. I’m waiting with bated breath for their reopening.

For a Big Blowout Party
Lakeside Country Club is across from Warner Brothers in Toluca Lake. It’s where Bob Hope and Bing Crosby lived and played golf. Once a year the club does a huge thing called the Clam Bake. It’s an over-the-top experience—they fly lobsters in from Maine and have king crab and soft-shell crab—and it’s all outdoors. It’s a really coveted ticket to get in town.

To Unplug
To get to the Resort at Pedregal you come to this mountain where they literally bored through, and when you come to the other side, all you see is the Pacific Ocean. It’s the most amazing ­transition, so when you need a vacation, it’s the place to go.

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