Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wu's Feature Sets & Why They're Important to Me

Mindee will be the feature model for July 2016, something of great importance to me.

In 2005, less than a year after Soles of Silk opened, Wu approached me about the possibility of doing a feature model set for his site. I asked him what it entailed and by the end of our short conversation, I was 100 percent on board. And every time he would go on to ask me afterward, I couldn't say yes quick enough.

It didn't take long for me to realize how many new eyes were brought to my work and models from having a new feature model set posted to Wu's Feet Links. Memberships rose, emails became more frequent, and I saw more and more people posting on my threads in the Wu's Feet Links Forum. Due to this, these sets have become ones I would start planning months, if not a year in advance.

From 2005-13, Wu asked me a total of eight times to do a set for his feature section. The fact that he kept asking me was humbling. I always had so much respect for the man and cherished the chance to showcase my work on his site. It didn't even bother me that he had a rule to have the sets in feature model section to be exclusive to his site. His site is the only one I've ever given any exclusive sets to that weren't also featured on Soles of Silk. I had that much admiration for the man.

Sadly, in 2014, Wu passed away. For months we were left with questions as his site was no longer updated. Once Phil, from BHE, learned and shared the news of his death, I went to him about the prospect of getting Wu's Feet Links back up and running in some capacity. One of the sections I most wanted to see back up was the Feature Models section.

Phil and I worked on a game plan that saw some automation of site functions take place. He gave me the responsibility to come up with a feature model calendar moving forward, which made me happy. And although it might sound selfish, I wanted the first set of the relaunched Wu's Feet Links to be one of mine. Wu had done a ton for me and I wanted to do something for him and his legacy. I talked to Olivia (one of my models), told her the story, and she was flattered that I picked her for something so important to me.

So in July 2014, Wu's Feet Links started back up and Olivia's set, "Back to Business," was appropriately published, with a title ever so appropriate. From that point on, I have penciled in foot models and sites from around the web to take part. There have been so many great sets from so many talented people. I thank all of you who have taken part for your assistance in the months and years that have followed the relaunch.

In 2015, and coming soon here in 2016, with Mindee's set teased above, I have had other feature sets that would follow Olivia's. I still get excited about having a set featured and still go out of my way to figure out a theme or location for them. I take a lot of pride in these sets - always have, always will. I have even already asked one of my models to do one in 2017, even though it's far off at this point. That model is Alice. She quickly said yes. 

Alice has already helped me with a column for the Wu's Feet Links Columns Blog and was the focal point of an interview on the Wu's Feet Links Interviews Blog. Needless to say, she loves doing this and I couldn't think of anyone more perfect to do the next year's. Here are links to her the column and her interview if you'd like to check them out, or if you haven't already:

Even though I take so much pride in carrying on the feature section, and being a part of it each year since the relaunch, I would honestly trade it in to have Wu back and assigning me a month again. I miss seeing his feedback when I'd send over the sets. His critique was always the most important to me.

As Wu's Feet Links continues to move forward, I will be actively seeking future feature sets. If you have any interest, please, by all means shoot me an email at I already have a few people lined up for the rest of 2016, but some openings are available.

Before I wrap things up here, I want to leave you a few links. I have listed each and every Soles of Silk model feature below. There are links to both their set as well as a blog chronicling each on the Soles of Silk Blog. I thought some of you might like to see the backstories that went into each of these sets. They further show just how dedicated I have been, and remain to doing these for Wu's Feet Links:

* Links coming later this week once the set is published!