JEWELRY DESIGNERS DO CANDIE’S

Byline: Karen Parr

NEW YORK — Candie’s is hoofing it down the designer trail once more, this time collaborating with jewelry designers rather than women’s wear designers.
Barry Kieselstein-Cord, Angela Cummings and Robert Lee Morris all are part of the project. They designed a series of shoes, from sandals to platforms, inspired by their jewelry. Each designer added to the shoes hardware that relates to his or her jewelry designs.
This follows two footwear lines designed by Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, Anna Sui and Vivienne Tam, which hit stores in November 1996.
Five percent of all retail sales from the jewelry designers’ collection will be donated to the American Cancer Society, to be used to help breast cancer patients.
“To me, the process was very easy,” said Morris, at a lunch for the launch of the shoes last Tuesday. “Within a weekend, I went into a frenzy of thinking of nothing but shoes. I laid out over 20 designs.”
The collections will include four styles from each designer. Prices are considerably higher than the prices of typical Candie’s footwear, which wholesales from $15 to $30; the designer shoes will wholesale from $90 to $175 and are aimed at better specialty stores, where the jewelry designers’ collections are sold.
Neil Cole, Candie’s chief executive officer, said he projects sales of the shoes should reach $2 million, which would produce $100,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society.
Cole said because of the sophistication of this new collection, it will reach the original Candie’s customers.
“Candie’s was the number one junior brand between 1978 and 1982,” Cole said, “so all of these women are now 15 to 20 years older, with a different, possibly more sophisticated outlook on fashion.”
And more disposable income than the traditional Candie’s customer.

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