On June 15, five laceless styles of the classic Keds Champion silhouette featuring prints by green fashion label Loomstate will debut at select Barneys doors nationwide, as well as on Barneys.com.
The $75 styles, which will be available in Barneys Coop stores, use 100 percent organic cotton for the uppers and linings, and feature recycled insole boards and nickel-free eyelets. They also will be packaged in recycled shoeboxes branded as Keds by Loomstate.
According to Barneys SVP and fashion director Julie Gilhart, the collaboration made sense for the fashion-forward store.
“Everyone from Katherine Hepburn to Paul Newman have worn Keds,” she said. “To take this great, American classic and turn it into a stylish, sustainable shoe made from organic materials is updating a classic in the most fashionable way.”
Kristin Burrows, president of Keds, said working with retailers such as Barneys was a key part of the strategy for the Lexington, Mass.-based brand, a division of Topeka, Kan.-based Collective Brands Inc.
“It’s critical for us to raise our brand equity by partnering with pinnacle retailers,” she explained. “And Barneys is one of the key, critical retailers out there in the contemporary environment.”
The opportunity to collaborate with Loomstate, Burrows added, was a way to expand its Green Label program, which launched last spring.
“When you look at Loomstate, they’ve been one of the few brands that has successfully married its green platform with the fashion platform,” she said. “You can’t sacrifice fashion for green, and that’s one of the reasons [the collaboration] resonates with Barneys.”
Burrows added that Keds would continue to pursue partnerships with retailers and other fashion brands.