As part of its ongoing effort to offer designer styles at affordable prices, footwear retailer Payless ShoeSource has set its third collaboration, this time with Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia.
The collection, Alice + Olivia for Payless, will hit stores in spring 2008 and will be available in 400 Payless stores and on its Web site, as well as in Alice + Olivia boutiques.
"Stacey is an amazing talent and representative of modern eclectic thinking and design, and we are lucky to be able to platform her talent and creativity for our customers," said Payless ShoeSource president and chief executive officer Matt Rubel.
"We have two amazing designers we work with who are different and complementary, but we wanted our customer to respond to another fashion idea of flirty and contemporary that we felt Stacey was doing with her line," he added. "So we looked around for that type of look and saw her as the most talented person connecting to that."
Bendet joins Lela Rose and Abaeté designer Laura Poretzky in the program, which is a key strategy aimed at democratizing fashion and design in the accessories business.
"We are not about being exclusive," said Rubel. "We are about being inclusive and elevating and celebrating ideas, and making them accessible through great pricing and easy access in store locations. We want to take great design and bring it to every customer."
Alice + Olivia for Payless will retail for $20 to $30. Bendet hasn't begun designing yet, but foresees a mix of brightly colored platform sandals, flip-flops and ballet slippers to match her ready-to-wear collection.
"Our customer is cool," said Bendet. "She'll buy a $600 beaded dress and wear it with flip-flops that create a unique look. For next spring, we're doing a funky, late-Sixties, early-Seventies look with bell-bottoms, high-waisted pants, tunics and fun dresses. It will be great to tie in shoes in some great colors and cool patent leathers."
The designer said she'll eventually design shoes for her own label, most likely for the fall 2008 season.
"Shoes have been on the horizon for a little while," said Bendet. "We've been trying to decide the direction to go. But I thought this is a neat thing to do and I love the direction that Payless is going in."In celebration of the partnership, Bendet will stage a fashion show on June 30 at Alice + Olivia's new store in Southampton, N.Y. Other retail locations include Midtown and downtown Manhattan and one in Los Angeles. A Malibu, Calif., outpost is slated to open next year.
In addition to shoes, Bendet plans to design sunglasses under her own label and may even join forces with Payless again on a headband collection.
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