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FN Spy Magazine: Gwen's Next Act

The musician and designer talks about amping up footwear, landing on “The Voice” and her big return to New York fashion.

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Gx by Gwen Stefani

Photo By Steve Eichner


“It feels like one of those moments when something exciting is bubbling,” said Gwen Stefani, sitting in Titan Industries’ showroom in midtown New York earlier this month. “I’m in a new chapter and a new phase.”
She had just finished feting her new footwear line at a packed event, spending more than an hour greeting top buyers. Many acted like starstruck fans as they posed for pictures with the musician-turned-designer. Titan CEO Joe Ouaknine acted as the unofficial photographer for the evening, perfecting iPhone shots for his retail partners.

Stefani was clearly energized about the rollout of Gx by Gwen Stefani and her other high-profile projects on deck, including an upcoming gig as a coach on NBC’s hit show, “The Voice” and a return to New York Fashion Week. She’s also settling into another big role: being a mother of three. Son Apollo, who was born earlier this year, was on hand at the party, and Stefani took time out to feed him after guests admired him.
It’s certainly a lot to juggle, but the 44-year-old songstress is excited about the opportunity to move back into the fast lane.

“It has all happened very spontaneously, but timing is everything,” said the founder and creative director of Gx. “I never thought I would get this far.”
In fact, Stefani is one of the few celebrities who’s achieved staying power in a fast-changing, highly competitive fashion business. She launched her L.A.M.B. footwear label with Titan nearly a decade ago and still operates that line today. After building expertise, Stefani told FN Spy that bowing a secondary line with Titan felt like a natural move.

“[Designing] feels a little more accepted in a way [than when I started], and maybe that’s why this timing doesn’t feel weird at all,” she said. “I feel that I’ve earned the right to be able to do this now, and at the end of the day, an accessory line feels good.”

The Gx product, which launched exclusively on ShoeDazzle earlier this year at a price points between $59 and $129, has gotten off to a strong start. “It’s sexy and aggressive product, and it has an edge to it,” said Tim Callahan, SVP of merchandising, production and design for ShoeDazzle. “We prefer [to work with] people who have a fashion background than a celebrity. She used to make her own costumes [on tour].”
For spring, the collection of more than 40 styles will be introduced at select Nordstrom doors exclusively for one month. Then it will roll out to Amazon.com, Shopbop.com, Belk and select independents. (ShoeDazzle will continue stocking the collection, with some exclusive styles.)

“Gwen has an amazing personal aesthetic, and her distinct take on fashion shines through in Gx,” said Scott Meden, EVP and GMM of shoes at Nordstrom, noting that the retailer has seen strong success with L.A.M.B. “We think our customers are going to be excited about this line’s unique styling, colors and materials.”
In addition to expanding her relationship with top retailers, Stefani said the project offered her an opportunity to reach consumers who were looking for a more accessible price point than the core L.A.M.B. line, priced between $250 and $395, saying, “This is for someone who can’t afford a more expensive shoe.” But that isn’t always easy, she acknowledged. “It’s really hard to make shoes at this price point look good.”
Her favorite looks for spring? “I love the booties and all of the color. It’s fun to be able to wear color, it’s a great way to be bold. I also love incorporating a lot of tribal [influences],” she said.

 

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