Coye Nokes Eyes Expansion

Coye Nokes Eyes Expansion
A Coye Nokes style for spring '13

It’s been a good year for Coye Nokes.

The 3-year-old women’s label made a push for a bigger retail presence in the U.S., moved production from Italy to Brazil, adjusted price points and stepped up its social media presence. It also plans to launch a dedicated bridal collection for spring ’13. “We have some great momentum right now, and I’m really excited about it,” Nokes said.

The label has garnered about 15 new wholesale accounts for spring ’13, she added, including Piperlime.com and Calypso. Nokes credited her growing retail presence to a shift in production from Italy to Brazil six months ago, a move that also allowed the brand to lower price points. Coye Nokes styles will retail from $275 to $450 starting in spring ’13, whereas they previously reached into the $700 range.

“[Price] was our main barrier [to growth in America in past seasons],” Nokes said. “People always responded to our aesthetic, but economic conditions haven’t been the most friendly in the U.S. for the last couple of years. We have gotten a lot more traction [with the new price points].”

Retailers also are buying more strategically for spring, she added. “People aren’t buying just during market. They are buying closer to season, and that helps even out our revenues.”

In addition, Nokes has stretched her creative prowess with more fashion-forward styles, including snake prints, playful colors and embellishments, she noted. “It has to do with my own personal evolution,” the designer said. “I’m a little bit bolder, and that really comes across in recent seasons.”

Nokes has emphasized connecting with her customers, too, both through social media (she launched a blog in August) and personal appearances at stores. She hosts monthly open houses for shoppers at her design studio in Manhattan as well. “It’s been good for me to interact with the customers,” she said. “It’s great to hear people’s feedback, and it’s helpful for me when I’m doing development.”

And while Nokes has produced one-off bridal styles in the past, spring will mark the launch of her first full collection in that category. The bridal footwear will retail for $300 to $400 and include flats and heels in leather and satin. “[The shoes] primarily will be neutrals and metallics,” Nokes said, “but we will splash some color in now and then for the non-traditional bride.”

Looking toward 2013, Nokes said she is feeling optimistic about business. “With the new footholds we have in the U.S. market, we are looking at continued expansion,” she said.