HAPPY FEET: Paige is expanding its offer to include a new range of footwear that’s designed to channel the same laid-back Californian vibe the denim label for which the brand is known.
Founder Paige Adams-Geller, a self-confessed shoe addict, said she has always used her personal footwear collections to inspire her designs and was waiting for the moment when she could launch her own line independently, her goal being to avoid licensing and maintain full creative control.
She came up with a 19-piece collection ranging from snakeskin ankle boots to strappy sandals, sneakers with touches of leopard print and studded loafers.
“We wanted to include pieces we felt were a necessity in a woman’s closet: the sneaker, the heel, the Western boot, the lower heel height and the higher heel height,” said Adams-Geller, who found that the technicalities of footwear design were similar to that of denim.
“When you put Paige jeans on, they feel like your best friend and we wanted the same thing to happen with your foot. The most important quality for our shoes is comfort, so we made sure to pick leathers that mold to the foot, used special padding inside the shoes and negotiated the heel heights to ensure that every piece was something you could get around in,” she added.
The new category launch offered the opportunity for the designer to forecast different prints, such as snakeskin and leopard print, that will go on to be key parts of her upcoming ready-to-wear collections and test the response of the market.
The collection will have limited distribution and will launch later this month on the brand’s Web site, as well as two of its key retail partners, Nordstrom in the U.S. and Selfridges in the U.K. The brand has its eyes set on the U.K. in particular and plans to expand its presence there, with a holiday pop-up and a local office both in the works.
New accessories categories are also on Adams-Geller’s mind but the focus will remain on shoes.
“I think what has really worked for our brand is that we didn’t try to do too much too soon: We started with denim and continued building the wardrobe from there. By embracing the shoes, we are really able to tell the story from neck to feet. There will be other pieces that will continue the story of our brand,” said the designer, adding that she is in the process of finding the right partners. “Given the success we had with our men’s business this year, I’m also pretty positive that by next fall we will have a men’s shoe collection.”