JEWELS FOR NINE WEST

Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK — Footwear and accessories titan Nine West has added another classification to its roster: jewelry.
And it won’t be a small one. With more than 700 sku’s, the premiere line, which is being produced under license by Victoria Creations, will not be traditionally collection-driven, but will focus on modernized classics, key items and pieces that pick up on current fashion trends.
Patricia Stensrud, Victoria’s president and chief executive officer, said first-year wholesale projections are $20 million for U.S. distribution alone.
“As with all other Nine West accessories, the jewelry line will be tested in stores and is expected to be rolled out on demand to department stores and Nine West stores nationwide, beginning in February,” said Stensrud, adding there is a good possibility of expanding distribution globally.
“So many of Nine West’s products work well worldwide, and I expect that jewelry will work as well,” she said. Stensrud said Nine West would spend roughly $1 million on U.S. advertising for the jewelry and the media buy would include print, outdoor ads and in-store merchandising displays.
The jewelry will be included in Nine West’s overall image campaign that features the full product range. Herb Ritts, who shot Nine West’s current fall campaign featuring model Helena Christiansen, will shoot the campaign for spring, although a model has yet to be chosen.
The assortment ranges from what Stensrud characterized as reinvented basics in goldplate or silverplate to fashion elements in materials such as leather or seasonal wood and sterling silver, in top-of-counter and display pieces. Wholesale prices range from $5.65 to $38 for earrings, pendants, bracelets, rings and necklaces.
An executive for a major U.S. department store chain previewed the line with WWD, and while she spoke on condition of anonymity, she expressed her optimism about this latest product addition.
“From our perspective, Nine West is a designer brand. It has a strong heritage from the shoe business and a sense of updated status that’s been missing at a price point that America understands. Just because something is moderately priced doesn’t mean that it has to be tasteless.”
While Nine West produces its own handbag and small leather goods collections in-house; its licensed accessories include sunglasses from Riviera and hosiery from Royce. The company also produces under license CK Calvin Klein handbags, small leather goods and footwear.

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