Keds is joining with contemporary firm Alice + Olivia for a limited edition line of sneakers.
This story first appeared in the February 8, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The collection, Alice + Olivia for Keds, will launch this spring at select Neiman Marcus stores nationwide and on neimanmarcus.com, followed by Alice + Olivia boutiques, aliceandolivia.com and retailers worldwide.
Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet created a version of Keds’ classic Champion style inspired by her spring collection. Available in four colors — black, silver, pale pink and safari green — each slip-on shoe is adorned with colored sequins and retails for $88.
“I don’t think I removed Keds from my feet as a kid,” Bendet said. “I can’t even count how many pairs I had. We decided to do a collaboration that would bring a little Alice + Olivia fun to the 2010 Keds Champion.”
Bendet is one of many designers stepping into footwear collaborations. Last month, Giorgio Armani said he will partner with Reebok on a collection of sneakers and activewear for his EA7 and Emporio Armani lines. Designer Jeremy Scott teamed with Adidas last fall on a group of funky, colorful high-tops.
Adidas has seen success in its collaboration with Stella McCartney, dating to 2004, and Nike and Comme des Garçons designer Junya Watanabe created a partnership for its sneaker series, Comme des Garçons x Nike Dunk.
The Alice + Olivia collaboration is the first step Keds is taking in repositioning itself as a modern, fashion-forward brand. It plans to partner with other designers and artists who “can bring their own unique vision and creativity to the iconic Champion silhouette,” said Keds president Kristen Kohler Burrows.