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Anine Bing launched her line in late 2012 with the simple mission of making the exact pieces she longed to own — from snug leather jackets to distressed denim and rough-hewn boots.
“When I want a new pair of shoes, I just create whatever I feel like wearing. It’s about cool, simple styles people can relate to,” Bing said of her designs, which have been picked up by Shopbop.com and Revolveclothing.com, as well as her own site. Footwear prices range from $399 for fringe moccasins to $699 for her signature studded boots. The category now accounts for 20 percent of the growing business.
The Danish-born designer, 31, is now based in Los Angeles, where she's also the lead singer of the band Kill Your Darlings and a digital media entrepreneur. She recently spoke with Footwear News about her burgeoning brand and impressive — and growing — list of extra-curriculars.
1. Why did you decide to produce your footwear in Los Angeles?
AB: Since I had never done footwear before, I wanted to find a factory that was close to where I live. All the clothes are produced in Turkey and it’s kind of far to go there. We found [a manufacturer] here that has been amazing. The idea for my footwear was to create a pair of rock ‘n’ roll-style boots. I wanted [the shoes] to add a little something extra — with gold studding for example — to the simple clothes I make. I’m a boots person, so that’s the focus. Immediately, people went crazy over them.
2. Why did you structure your business separate from the normal fashion calendar?
AB: I don’t design by seasons; I just add pieces on all the time. In total, I’ve done about 20 different boot styles. It’s a [reflection] of my personality — I can be creative every day. If I have an idea, I want to get it out now. I don’t want to wait for the right season to come. I guess it’s a selfish way of working, but it also works well for the stores and consumers. I launch new product every week. It’s a great way for people to update their wardrobe year-round. That’s the way we dress these days.
3. How do your other endeavors complement your business?
AB: I have my blog on Theyouway.com that I update three times a day. It’s about my life in Los Angeles, fashion, motherhood, my kids, everything. That’s a great way for me to keep in touch with my following and promote the brand. I’m also releasing a new EP in a couple of days. I work my music into our [promotional materials] to bring [together] the message of the whole Anine Bing lifestyle. I’m really happy with the business as it is right now. We are in more than 200 boutiques around the world and we keep expanding. When I started, I wanted to grow organically and we are certainly growing fast, but still organically. I’m very selective when I choose [retail partners]. My next [project] is to make a pump. It’s not quite there yet. I’m still figuring out how to do it with a twist.