3 Questions for Lucky Brand’s Karin Cole

Karin Cole has big plans for Lucky Brand.

As the label’s newly appointed style director, she is on a mission to elevate the denim-driven brand with a stronger focus on fashion.

“If you think about the history of the brand, there are so many amazing things to talk about,” Cole told Footwear News at Lucky’s spring ’12 preview earlier this week. “[We’re] working really hard to relaunch [the brand] in a way that’s more relevant to the fashion world.”

To that end, the upcoming shoe offering emphasizes trend-right woven platforms, chunky wooden wedges and sandals with rich details.

Here, Cole talks about trying to stay true to Lucky’s casual boho identity while giving the brand a fashion edge.

1. How will the Lucky Brand aesthetic change under your direction?
KC: The Lucky customer is very loyal. It’s a cool group of people, [spanning from] young girls to moms. But the common ground is everyone is a real individual. There’s a creative vibe to our customers. They like looking cool, but don’t like being labeled. They really relate to our patterns and prints and our boho vibe. We won’t walk away from that because it is so inherent [to our identity], and our fans are so die-hard about that. We’ll elevate [the brand] in a way that makes it more relevant to what’s happening in fashion. For prints and patterns, Lucky [in the past] may have looked to more expected places for inspiration, but now we’ll look more to fashion for inspiration. We want to elevate the materials and [introduce] silhouettes [that are] a little more fashion-forward.

2. Will shoes be an important part of the product offering going forward?
KC: Twenty Lucky Brand stores will begin carrying footwear for spring ’12. Everyone’s dying for it. You go in the stores, and people are talking about the footwear and want to get their hands on it. Lucky has such a great look and feel, and the shoes are a [key] piece [of it].

3. What can you tell us about the spring footwear collection?
KC: The shoes are inspired by the clothing line, but they have their own personality. They have color and details, and they’re embellished, but very sophisticated and wearable. A main [theme] for spring is that pattern and color run throughout the collection in unique places. There are lots of heels and wedges. There is one wedge [with a cork] heel that has a little zigzag print. That element of surprise that you find in our clothing you also will see in our shoes.

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