Gap customers will have the opportunity to get well-heeled this spring.
The chain is bringing a capsule collection of footwear created by French accessories designer Pierre Hardy to the U.S. in February. Earlier this fall, Gap introduced its first collection with Hardy in the U.K. and France.
Hardy, known for his sculptural sky-high stilettos under his eight-year-old signature label, as well as those he designed for edgy brands such as Balenciaga, adopted Gap's casual aesthetic in creating the collection. The spring line includes a wooden wedge sandal with an ankle strap in printed fabrics and a chambray. There is also a strappy chunk-heel sandal and a flat, leather gladiator style.
The shoes will retail for $78 to $98 at about 75 Gap stores. Hardy's shoes typically sell for $600 to $700 at stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and Jeffrey New York.
"It was to find a new way to create a collection that could fit with the Gap's, period," Hardy said of his motivation. "I tried to keep what I love — simple lines, no details — with the Gap that's more casual and light."
For Hardy, the fun of the collection is seeing his creations reach the masses.
"In the end, what's important in fashion is when you see the things you create worn on the street," he said. "It's a great pleasure."
Gary Muto, president of Gap Adult, GapBody and personal care, said, "For us, it's all about [guest designers] understanding the Gap brand aesthetic. Pierre's a natural and an extreme talent....True fashionistas appreciate [his work]. For us, it's always about the Gap brand first and sharing with people who share and embrace that aesthetic."
In April, the company launched Gap Design Editions through a partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in which it tapped up-and-coming designers such as Thakoon and Doo-Ri Chung to create their versions of a white button-down shirt. The limited edition collection sold out within weeks.
Hardy is the first accessories designer that Gap has chosen, and while the firm is open to other categories, such as handbags by Hardy, there are no plans as of yet. Muto declined to give a sales projection."For us, it's about completing the look," Muto said. "We're always interested in giving customers wardrobe options and selections. It's looking at our brand and where we supplement different types of product."
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