NEW BEGINNINGS: Lulu Guinness is expanding her accessories line with a footwear range, WWD has learned.
Taking inspiration from the brand’s signature retro aesthetic and popular lip and doll-face motifs, the designer has tried to combine functionality with a touch of humor.
There are block heels galore in the brand’s signature black and red color palette, from preppy Mary Janes to more classic T-bar pumps and cutout sandals. While the shapes may be classic, they have a playful attitude with doll-face shaped appliqués on the backs.
“We took the best of our spring 2017 bag concepts and our classic signatures, such as our new doll face and lips, and designed a capsule with a real dose of Lulu humor. You discover new details on that second glance,” said Guinness.
Other highlights include a pair of black, pointed toe pumps with a heel molded in the shape of red lips – which Guinness hopes to establish as a signature – and a silver metallic pair of sandals featuring a sculpted heel.
Prices will be in line with the rest of the collection. “We are aiming for a really original design viewpoint and beautifully made shoes, but without compromising on a great price point. It’s aligned with the rest of the collection to be affordable luxury,” said the designer.
Prices range from 195 pounds, or $246 at current exchange, to 295 pounds, or $372. The collection will launch on the brand’s web site at the beginning of March.
The addition of footwear is meant to help diversify the brand’s offer and strengthen the business, while future store openings will focus on catering to the Asian market.
“Our focus is on re-platforming our store portfolio globally and digitally with 10 stores opening in China this year and five stores in Taiwan,” said Paul Spinks, the brand’s managing director, adding that he is also looking at the possibility of opening new stores in Japan and Korea.
In 2016 the brand posted a pre-tax loss of 89,678 pounds, or $113,212. It was able to narrow losses from the previous year by closing down unprofitable retail stores in London and New York.