Nine West, the slumping affordable-footwear brand, is trying to spice up its image by hitching itself to the glamorous world of fashion design.
At a splashy New York fashion show tonight, Nine West, owned by Jones Apparel Group Inc., plans to unveil three limited-edition designer collections that will be available in stores for just a month each. Models will strut down the catwalk wearing footwear and accessories designed by British fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, along with items by emerging talents Sophia Kokosalaki and Thakoon Panichgul.
The show marks the launch of "Project Front Row," Nine West's plan to lure customers with a small number of expensive designer products -- a strategy that is part of a broader trend by midtier and mass retailers. The three Nine West collections, which are set to hit stores over three months beginning Sept. 1, will range in price from $160 to $350 a pair, at least double the cost of typical Nine West shoes.
"Part of the allure is having a very narrow distribution," says Stacy Lastrina, Jones Apparel's executive vice president for marketing and creative services. The shoes will be sold in Nine West's top 20 retail stores based on sales and on a special section of the NineWest.com Web site. The footwear also will be available at 40 of Federated Department Stores Inc.'s Macy's stores.
Here are some shoes by Vivienne Westwood. Interesting. Kind of clunky.
What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!