The company is now based out of Los Angeles, following last year’s relocation by co-creative director Chelsea Hansford in a move that unified the business on the West Coast and aimed to allow for greater focus on building out the company’s denim, accessories and digital.
“I’ve always been massively passionate about shoes and so it’s been something that’s been on my mind for a long time,” Hansford said. “I really wanted to build out the bags and be confident in that business before I launched a new category and we’ve gotten to that place now and are ready to launch shoes.”
The latest move with shoes was revealed to buyers during Paris Fashion Week. The seven-style collection comprised of leather and rubber includes flat and high-heel sandals and a boot, among other styles. The footwear collection, meant to be paired with the brand’s spring ready-to-wear line, retails for $290 to $510. The footwear was shown with two new handbag styles, all of which will be available early next year.
Distribution at launch will be focused on one retailer per region, Hansford said.
“Our strategy is to really go wider with each [retail] partner and have them represent the breadth of the collections and have a great sell-through, response and test out the water before we go wide,” Hansford said. “It’s nice to launch in a tighter way.”
The footwear expansion follows the company’s debut of a six-month pop-up within the Fred Segal boutique on Sunset Boulevard in August. The test at retail is the first time Simon Miller is experimenting with a full presentation of the brand within a physical store and is in line with the company’s broader efforts to have a multifaceted offering.
“Accessories are just a huge opportunity for us and all brands for that matter,” Hansford said. “It’s really exciting to see the reaction to a new accessories category. Simon Miller’s a great denim brand and we’ve launched a great ready-to-wear collection as well and had success with accessories. It’s just nice to have a full collection from shoes to bags to ready-to-wear to style the full look, and I think that’s a really big jump for the brand. People are understanding it’s not just a denim brand or a bag brand. They’re starting to understand the full lifestyle of Simon Miller.”