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Vera Wang has it all.
From bridal gowns to perfume and eyewear to mattresses, the New York-based designer is showing no signs of slowing the lifestyle empire she has built over the last 20 years.
Most recently, Wang partnered with St. Louis-based Brown Shoe Co. to add high-end footwear to the mix and complement her ready-to-wear Lavender Label.
“It’s very much a stylish-girl-meets-street attitude,” Wang said of the footwear. “There is a bit of femininity and toughness.”
Launching for spring ’09, the Lavender Label footwear includes 15 styles of ballerinas, espadrilles, sandals, clogs, pumps and boots. It will expand to include about 30 styles for fall ’09.
The move into high-end shoes is a logical next step for Wang, whose designs have garnered an A-list celebrity following and have been featured in blockbuster films including last summer’s “Sex and the City” and the recently released “Bride Wars.”
Wang, who got her start as the youngest fashion editor at Vogue, has steadily been building her product mix — which also includes china and crystal, a hotel suite, handbags and a wedding book — and has brought her elegant aesthetic to everyday women across the country.
She partnered with Kohl’s in 2007 to create the lower-priced Simply Vera lifestyle collection of clothing, footwear, home decor and accessories, and last year launched Verawangweddings.com.
Even with the growing list of categories under the Vera Wang umbrella, the designer said she is careful to keep her vision consistent throughout.
“All my [products] are an expression of my own personal design vocabulary,” she said. “Details on a dress can inspire bed linens or stationery, while jewelry or embellishments can adorn a bag or shoe.”
Meanwhile, Brown Shoe’s licensing agreement with Wang marks one of the firm’s first partnerships with an established clothing designer. With the Lavender Label, Brown has added a major fashion name to its roster of higher-end brands.
“[She] has built from her name and iconic style a multifaceted brand that resonates with today’s women,” said Rick Ausick, Brown Shoe president of wholesale for New York brands. “The addition of Lavender Label footwear affords us the opportunity to extend the reach of Brown Shoe’s portfolio to a new group of consumers and to create partnerships with new retailers.”
The collection is set to retail for $195 to $695 in about 100 doors, including high-end shops, department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and the Vera Wang ready-to-wear boutique in New York, which opened in December.