LONDON — British footwear brand Dear Frances, a favorite among models of the moment Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, is introducing a pre-fall range for the first time.
The label, which focuses on direct-to-consumer sales via its own e-commerce platform, has just launched the new range on its web site in a bid to cater to customers’ demand for newness and increase its offering with mid-season styles that can complement its core collections.
“We’ve noticed a growing demand for more regular drops on our e-store. Our growing audience sees a large proportion of customers coming back to our site to shop each season so it’s important that we can offer new styles more regularly and in line with their needs,” said Jane Frances, the label’s founder and designer. “As I continue to refine my design process each season and as our main collections grow, it made sense to introduce the more transitional styles that can be worn for most months of the year.”
The range features a wide selection of mules and backless loafers featuring wool trims and leathers in earth-tone colors. Frances said she was inspired by the juxtaposition of the natural and the man-made as seen in the work of installation artist Olafur Eliasson. “The color palette used throughout the collection is inspired by natural elements, while the silhouettes, from the shape of the toe, to the curve of the heels, were carefully designed to reflect the sense of harmony evident in Eliasson’s work.”
Among the highlights are a pair of mules in a patent denim the designer developed and a pair of slides embellished with knotted fabrics developed from organic cotton or hand-woven silk.
Prices range from $270 for a pair of slides to $550 for a pair of the brand’s signature “Spirit” ankle boots, updated in teal and nude-colored leathers for pre-fall.
Frances highlighted that all the shoes are crafted in Italy, with locally sourced leathers and she is constantly working toward maintaining contemporary price points and “achieving a balance of aspirational and accessible.”
Having started in London, the label has an established following throughout Europe, but it is also quickly gaining traction in the U.S.
Frances credited the label’s celebrity fans as having boosted brand awareness, as well as the direct communication with the consumer she can achieve through visual platforms such as Instagram.
“The industry is changing rapidly and we found that we needn’t rely on large retailers to reach new markets or to create exposure on our behalf. New media is a powerful tool, which has opened a unique path for us to find and connect with our own audience,” the designer said. “We have a strong audience on our social channels and we enjoy engaging directly with our customers – asking what works for them, what they’d like to see more of and when. We have found that our customers like to engage directly with our label, they are interested in our story and they want to be part of our journey as we grow and develop as a brand.”
She added that by focusing on direct sales, the company has more control over the pace of its production. “We are strong advocates of ‘slow fashion’ with an ethos of producing classic designs intended to last and selling directly via our e-store provides us with control over which styles to produce and how many each season. We are committed to investing in styles that endure, which in turns helps to curb the issue of over production, something I am very passionate about.”
The brand continues to work with a small number of key retailers, including Shopbop, and has also recently forged a partnership with Level Shoe District in Dubai to introduce the brand to the Middle East.