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Christian Louboutin has a lot of love for Marie Antoinette and for Sofia Coppola, who wrote and directed a movie about the let-them-eat-cake monarch in 2006.

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At a time when many retailers are having a tough time getting consumers into stores, Alife Rivington Club is generating buzz through a collaboration with New Balance. It’s part of NB’s new Partnership Program, which allows retailers to work with regional New Balance factories to produce exclusive collections. The shoes, an updated version of the classic M13000 running shoe, were slated to drop Feb. 7, and Alife co-owner Treis Hill said enthusiasm — and pre-orders — were already high for the $165 sneaks. “We’ve had a great response,” he said. “It’s exciting for us and for New Balance. We get to bring to the consumer something different and more exclusive.” Hill is already in talks with NB to produce a more technically driven shoe and apparel collection for spring ’10. And for his part, Luis Navarro, New Balance’s lifestyle product manager — and the man behind the program — said the concept is a win-win for retailers and based shoe factories. “Domestic manufacturing has long been a pillar Balance’s business, and we are excited to incorporate that into the Partnership Program,” he said. “As we manufacture additional collections, we will extend [our lifestyle division’s] global reach and continue to increase our influence within this category.”

 

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