Nine West wants to go out after work.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
For fall, the brand is expanding its core career wear business with a new campaign targeted at multifaceted women. “It was time to restore and revitalize this brand,” said Pam Seidman, who joined the company as executive vice president of marketing in January.
Company president Pam Salkovitz agreed. “The time was right to execute some creative changes that will fortify our position as a sexy, aspirational — yet accessible — global footwear and accessory [brand].”
The campaign, launching in September, features model Nadja Bender atop a city building, and was done in collaboration with New York-based creative agency SelectNY. Photographed by Camilla Akrans and styled by Julia Von Boehm, it aims to introduce a more well-rounded image for the brand, as one that can dress its customer from day to night.
“We did some qualitative research, and met with 50 women across four markets: New York, Texas, Miami and Michigan. We went into their closets to get into their mind-sets,” Seidman said. “I wanted to find what was our white space. Speaking to these women, it was so evident that we have control of her workspace, but we weren’t doing much beyond that.”
In April 2014, the Nine West Group was acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Executives declined to reveal figures, but the last reported figures in 2012 put the brand at around $1 billion in sales.
For fall, Jimmy Chan, vice president of design, and Rafe Totengco, creative director of handbags, infused elements of the classic Nine West look with more fashion-forward style.
“I saw these pictures of Jackie O from the Sixties,” Totengco said. “I thought, ‘We have to do the modern take on that.’ How do we take [our customer] from desk to dusk?” Chan added that the Nine West customer is “fashion aware but wants to be comfortable in what she wears.” Key styles for fall include over-the-knee boots, a T-strap heel with cap toes, flats, oversize clutches and saddle bags.
“In the end, she chooses,” Totengco said. “So if we give her good design — whether she’s 20 or 50 or 70 — if she loves it, she loves it. Design is democratic in that way.”
Seidman also revealed the brand is launching a redesigned Web site, complete with “NINE,” or Need It Now Edit, an editorial hub highlighting new styles and trends. “It will be a whole new experience and a level of authority.”