Charlotte Olympia’s Life With Archie

The footwear designer depicted the comic book character's love triangle with Betty and Veronica through a series of witty accessories.

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Talk about comedic timing.

This story first appeared in the July 29, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

British shoe designer Charlotte Olympia, who is known for her cheeky and playful design themes for her collections (like Hollywood and Grimm’s fairy tales), launched her resort collection this June with an all-American Fifties teenager theme. Jukebox motifs boogied on booties, letter sweaters were turned into wedges and soda-shop confections were whipped into ice cream-treat designs on shoes.

So what better time to pair up with another all-American boy — Archie Andrews from Archie Comics — and depict his love triangle with Betty and Veronica through a series of witty accessories?

It was a natural fit for Olympia, given her penchant for retro styles.

“When I was 10 years old, my best friend used to go to America every holiday and bring Archie comics back with her,” she recalled. “I still read them today. I especially love Betty and Veronica, they have that retro pin-up look that I adore.”

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Archie Comics copresident and editor in chief Victor Gorelick was not familiar with the high-end shoe line when King Features Inc. called him about the licensing opportunity. While Archie Comics had final approval on the designs, Gorelick said this might be the most high-brow merchandise to sport the Riverdale crew.

“The girls were a perfect fit for the shoes. I think my wife fits the sample,” mused Gorelick.

Styles include suede pumps (red for Betty, blue for Veronica) with comic bubble quotes at $1,095; a comic print wedge, $1,295, and a clutch that resembles a folded comic book, $1,595.

“Archie Comics introduced the world to the question ‘are you a Betty or a Veronica,’” said Frank Caruso, vice president of creative at King Features, “and that question has reemerged once again in these exclusive limited-edition designs from Charlotte Olympia.”

The shoes and bag land in stores in November and will be sold at Charlotte Olympia boutiques in London, New York and Los Angeles as well as nordstrom.com and onpedder.com.

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