Isabel Toledo is creating handbags and shoes for the masses.
The designer is launching an accessories and footwear collection for Payless ShoeSource, which will hit hundreds of Payless stores, as well as at payless.com, starting in September.
Isabel Toledo for Payless handbags and footwear will retail for less than $40 in mixed materials such as patent leather, nylon, rubber and mesh. The line will feature an array of shapes, including flats, square heels and stylish galoshes for a rainy day.
“Working with Payless gives me an opportunity to reach so many women, and it’s a treat to be able to touch as many women as I will,” said Toledo, who dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in a lime green coat and day dress for her husband’s inaugural ceremony. “It’s really a collection for women from all walks of life, literally. And it’s been interesting as I’ve had to have a different design hat on.
“My business is quite couture and precise,” she said. “This is taking into account all different lifestyles. In a way, it’s the closest thing to real life for me. And I feel like I’m all of these women.”
Toledo, creative director of the Anne Klein designer collection until it was closed by Jones Apparel Group Inc., joins a roster of designers who have signed on with the Topeka, Kan.-based footwear retailer under its Payless Designer Collections series. Other Payless collaborations include footwear lines by Lela Rose, Alice + Olivia and Christian Siriano.
“We originally outlined the program to help new, fresh talent broaden their spectrum,” said LuAnn Via, chief executive officer at Payless ShoeSource. “It’s a great opportunity for new designers and it gave us the opportunity to bring runway fashion to the world. That’s what we’re looking to do, to bring value and fashion to our customers. And while we like the idea of bringing in emerging talent, we now have a fashion icon in the group with Isabel.”
Payless ShoeSource is a unit of Collective Brands Inc., the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the U.S. with fourth-quarter sales totaling $741.7 million. The company operates 4,500 Payless stores around the world.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast