Lifestyle doyenne Martha Stewart is partnering with Aerosoles to be its brand ambassador and collaborate on a line of footwear, handbags and accessories for the footwear retailer.
The first style will be a limited collection of rain boots for holiday, to be followed by a complete collection for spring that will include casual and dress flats, heeled sandals, luxury mules and slides, as well as espadrille wedges. Handbags and accessories will follow.
Stewart said, “It’s fun. What we’re trying to do with Aerosoles [is] make gorgeous shoes at the right price.”
She spoke about a recent visit to Bergdorf Goodman’s shoe salon. “You couldn’t move. There were so many people shelving out thousands of dollars for a new pair of shoes. The shoes were gorgeous, but the average Joe can’t go there. We’re trying to make affordable shoes for the average person.”
First up are the equestrian-inspired rain boots, under the tag Martha Stewart for Aerosoles, which will range in price from $79 to $99. According to Stewart, they will sell on Aerosoles beginning Nov. 1, and later on at QVC, where Stewart already sells her apparel offerings. She said there was no decision yet on whether her shows will mix the fashion and footwear lines or if the lines will be featured on separate shows.
“I’ve always been interested in clothing. When I could finally afford gorgeous clothing, I went to the best places. The first suit I bought was [Giorgio] Armani, when he came to America. I still have it. I bought Gucci suits when Tom Ford was there.…I can afford [brands such as Hermès, Max Mara, Brunello Cuccinelli], but not everybody can,” she said.
Stewart said her “inspiration comes from many different places, from the best of the best. When I was a model, I wore all the best clothes.”
She’s also thinking about utility and comfort for her footwear line. “I love platform shoes. Teetering around in little penny heels is not very comfortable. Platforms you can wear a long time.…We’re trying to do sensible, classic, beautifully manufactured product.”
The latest partnership was the brainchild of Dan Castle, of Castle Brand Group. He worked with Stewart while at Sequential Brands Group, the owner of the brand. Sequential and the Martha Stewart brand are clients of Castle’s consultancy. After he started his own firm, he began working with Aerosoles when it came under new ownership. “The Aerosoles customer demographic matched up with my years of working with Martha’s demographic. It was no stretch to get one consumer to know the other. She said she loved Aerosoles. The Aerosoles customers love Martha.”
Karen Murray, Sequential’s chief executive officer, said, “Through the company’s partnership with QVC, we’ve witnessed firsthand the strong consumer following for Martha’s fashion and style. This new partnership with Aerosoles is a natural next step for us as we build out Martha’s presence in the fashion business.”
Lin James, vice president of product development at Aerosoles, said, “Martha’s form-meets-function aesthetic marries perfectly with Aerosoles’ commitment to creating fashion footwear that feels good.”