Monday, August 9, 2010

Reaching the Masses

I am generally a fan of designer collaboration. I think that good design should be available at all price points and this absolutely is possible. That's why you will find shoes all along the price spectrum in my closet. If I like it, I don't care about it's pedigree.

So I was excited for the upcoming collaboration between Isabel Toledo and Payless. Payless has been doing a much better job than even Target with bringing better designs down to a lower price while still looking cute. And these sketches released earlier this year pointed to a cute pairing. Quirky, fun and playful shoes that would add a punch of color to Fall outfits.

I love the idea of wearing these chunky cut-out oxfords with charcoal tights and running all over the city. And the heeled version, below, with the colorful soles are equally cute.

But part of the appeal is that these were going available to everyone (at least via online). While the pricepoint of just under $40 is higher than the usual Payless shoe, it's not that far. And these are more unique than I'm seeing in Nine West or the like.

But here is the problem.... they are only doing the red, white and blue (the best options in my mind) through Colette... France.

Now, I love Colette. They have some of the best buyers and always carry enviable, covetable items. And they have items all along the price range. But why do this?

Okay, I can guess - while from a marketing perspective it's great for the designer to say they are excited to reach out to a whole new group of shoppers but it's another to actually align yourself with Payless, a store that's changing it's image but is known for inexpensive goods. So you put one token pair in Payless, probably mainly online with a few select stores getting them in stock, and then you sell the rest at Colette, a much more chic storefront.... and clientele.

So I'm torn. I like the red sole option below and from what I see of these I'll probably like the red oxfords. But will I be able to get them? If shipping from France is around $15-$20 or more that jumps the price to around $60. Not sure it's worth it.

What do you think? Of course, the full line of bags and shoes are yet to be revealed. I'll be curious to see how this line is distributed. Are we worthy enough to get them here in the US or not?


WendyB said...

I like the blue sole.

I'm starting to feel some of these designer collaborations are really dragging down brand names. When everyone does it...I don't know. Some of them have really turned me off. In jewelry, Judith Ripka seems to be going lower in lower. It's good if you are making scads of money with that and you've just changed your business plan. But if you want to hold onto the high-end too, it's a problem. I'm not sure my image of that brand now is what they're striving for.

Mardel said...

I like the blue but don't think I would order them from France, especially since I like the yellow too. I've avoided most of the collaborations and have not been impressed, but these look awfully cute.

Midtown Girl said...

I never make in time for the designer collabs - they are always sold out before I get to them..but I do love the red-soled version of these - so CUTE!