NEW YORK — The worlds of media and fashion are converging.
NineWest, The Jones Group Inc.-owned footwear firm, has partnered withInStyle magazine to create a capsule collection of fall shoes, whichwill be available for purchase in August. The move signals a newfrontier for both parties, and potentially another revenue stream forInStyle — which also just signed a deal to do a line of women’s shirts.
“We’vedone collaborations before, primarily with designers and influencers,but this is the first time we’ve ever collaborated with a magazine,”Richard Dickson, The Jones Group’s president and chief executive officerof branded businesses, told WWD from Nine West’s bright offices inMidtown here. “Out of all of them [magazines] that would have beenpossible, InStyle certainly was the best magazine we could have everhoped to do it with — particularly because their reach, their skill set,their understanding of the consumer and their point of view fits inparticularly well with Nine West’s positioning.”
The idea for theshoe collection, which ranges from $79 to $149, materialized — as manythings do in the fashion industry — over dinner during at Paris FashionWeek.
Dickson said he and the InStyle editorial team begantalking about trends in footwear, and soon realized that a marriage ofthe minds would be “innovative” for not only Nine West but also for thefashion publication. The teams then came up with 10 styles in 26 colorsand materials, including single sole cutout pumps, polished deep-V wedgeankle booties and men’s wear-inspired flats. The limited-editioncollection makes use of materials ranging from suede and calf hair topatent leather, and it is branded in the shoe as a “9W InStyle”collaboration.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity forus to translate our brand values into these chic wardrobe statements,’”said InStyle editor Ariel Foxman. “Honestly, it’s really a wonderful wayfor us to develop this brand new revenue stream that’s well within ourcore brand values.”
Collaborations with brands might be new forInStyle, but they aren’t a novel concept in the magazine world. Inrecent years, Bon Appétit introduced kitchenware that it sells throughHSN, while Elle magazine has clothing and beauty lines. But overall,deals with major fashion brands are rare, which is why InStyle’s NineWest agreement stands out.
To market the collection, InStylewill devote a 12-page editorial booklet in its September issue.Consumers are invited to post an Instagram photo of themselves wearingtheir shoes with the hashtag #9WInstyle, and the editors will select themost stylish look and feature it in the magazine.
Nine Westadded that it would offer the line for pre-sale on its Web site fromtoday and at select Nine West stores in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 16.
“Forus it [the collaboration] brought the credibility that InStyle has, aswell as their point of view to our brand,” Dickson said. “Ultimately, tohave Nine West break ground with a publication like InStyle is a greatmilestone in the brand’s history. I think also it is representative ofthe new way of marketing the brand to be more culturally relevant andmore appreciative of the right style at the right price at the righttime....It’s been easy, fun and informative. We’ll see where it goesfrom here.”
As for the new shirt line from InStyle, it will besold by bra size. Called InStyle Essentials Perfect White ShirtCollection, it will feature three different white button-front styles:classic button front, weekend tunic and blow blouse.
The shirtsare available for $59.99 at shopinstyleessentials.com. They will befeatured in the September issue that goes on sale Aug. 16 and will beavailable for an indefinite period. The shirts use a patented sizingsystem by TrioFit. InStyle declined to disclose sales projections.
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