The New York Times had an article about SAS shoes, whose orthopedic insoles are apparently the epitomy of comfort. But the shoes aren't as interesting as the observation made by the owner of American Apparel about the state of brand marketing:
"All this stuff in the last 10 years about branding was really a false messaging system," says Dov. "What got lost was good product design. It became about the brand. They were just selling atmosphere."
Hmm....create a good product in the first place. Quite a concept. Advertising legend David Ogilvy was right: you can't brand crap. This resurgence of focusing on design could be good for business.