Former Topline exec Bill Snowden is back with new brand Jane and the Shoe. The line is set to launch in February with key retailers. Footwear News sat down with Snowden to discuss the label, its fresh designs and who exactly is Jane.
Who is the targeted customer for Jane and the Shoe?
“She’s the nameless, faceless [woman]. We always picture her from behind or half face because everyone is Jane at some point in time. We have a focus group in Seattle, which has been a huge help. We have girls who come in and chat about the shoes. They tell us if certain styles are too hard to wear. They tell us if they don’t like a shoe, and we try to listen. They have great feedback, and they talk about comfort more than anything. There are three target groups: high school, college and post-college.”
What are some key styles for the brand’s debut season?
“We think we know what the big shoes are, but the consumer is going to tell us. For spring ’18, we have a floral package, and we followed up with denim and a cork story. Out of the spring garden party, we created the summer picnic, which is filled with ginghams. We also have summer suede and pink stories. [Silhouettes include] cup-sole sandals, trainers, one-band slides and two-buckle slides. For the first quarter, we also have our shine and sequin stories. We also did a street and sport design story with sweatband and terry textures. And for pre-fall, [we focused on] toe shapes and textures. The casual business is what Jane wears in her closet. Everything you see from us has a little height because we feel like she likes to get off the ground.”
How have retailers responded to the collection?
“Our launch partners are Nordstrom, Journeys, Free People, Express, DNA Footwear, LF and Urban Outfitters. We’ve been humbled by the partnerships. Retailers are screaming for uniqueness. We offered stores some exclusives and early releases. As a brand, you have to recognize that every retailer has a different space to occupy.”
Does Amazon factor into your plans?
“We will be direct-to-consumer via Amazon Marketplace. Our goal is that every time you come to the site, you should find something new. We will prefer to sell out and bring something new in than continue to buy back into the same [product]. Every two months, there will be a different collection. [Looking forward], shaft heights will change, there will be new materials and [style] developments. Sandals will range in price from $40 to $60, the casual category is $60 to $80, and boots are $80 to $100. We will be true to getting the right materials.”
How are you approaching marketing and social media?
“We just launched the Instagram page and are starting to post. February is the launch, and we will tag all the retailers to generate interest in them. We are also partnering with local charities and working on [community] micro-reach as well.”
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