Staud’s offering for trendy sophisticates is about to get an upgrade. On Feb. 27, the brand officially launches its first collection of shoes.
The move is strategic for Staud — helmed by cofounders Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto — which currently attributes some 60 percent of sales to handbags, and the remainder to ready-to-wear. Staudinger projects that within three years, shoes will account for 30 percent of sales.
Staud has been one of the driving forces in popularizing the cheap and chic midprice accessories category — which, as reported by WWD last week, has taken hold of the handbag sector, changing consumers’ shopping behavior and value expectations.
“The same way I once felt with bags, there still isn’t anything at that price point in shoes that, for a lack of better terms, is chic and practical. Everything is pretty embellished — there isn’t anything that’s simple. We wanted to offer versatility and a bang for your buck when it comes to shoes that make a statement for every day,” Staudinger said of the brand’s blueprint for tackling shoes.
“Nothing is too high, everything is comfortable, practical and you can dress it up or down — that’s a huge part of brand identity across the board with bags and ready-to-wear and now shoes,” she added.
Wedge sandals, flat mules and strappy kitten-heel sandals are priced between $200 and $400 and are produced in Portugal. Spring, being Staud’s first shoe collection, is more limited in scope compared to the fall collection, which debuted at the brand’s runway show on Wednesday afternoon and features an array of boots, metallic disco heels, loafers and mary janes.
“When we launched bags, there was really that gap in the market for that price and that look. Over the last couple of years, a lot of contemporary bag brands have launched and the customer is a little overwhelmed now. I see a huge opportunity for shoes right now — we are still figuring out the distribution strategy,” Staudinger said.
Staud’s first two shoe collections will exclusively retail on the brand’s site as well as with Net-a-porter. Staud is currently evaluating its relationship with wholesale and hopes to increase its direct-to-consumer engagement, which currently accounts for about 40 percent of sales.
To launch shoes, Staud will open its New York showroom by appointment — giving consumers a space to personally interact with the product. “It will be the only physical place to try on the shoes and clothes, and then we will ship them overnight from our warehouse,” Staudinger explained of the strategy. The label is currently scouting spaces in downtown New York for a pop-up shop this summer to test the city’s retail climate.
Now with the main fashion categories under her belt, Staudinger looks to branch into more auxiliary product in the future: eyewear, jewelry, luggage and home. “It can go in a lot of different directions. We can just keep adding. We have so many ideas to work on once we perfect each of our categories,” she said.