Rachel Roy is launching shoes. With footwear being the No.1 missed category search on the designer’s website, Roy decided to dive into the area once again.
The designer has partnered with Titan Industries to release footwear within her contemporary Rachel Rachel Roy collection starting spring ’18. The shoe line will be both accessible and all-encompassing for customers, with styles made available specifically in wide and narrow widths to mirror the brand’s curvy apparel collection.
“Something that I’m able to do now is offer those wide widths,” she told Footwear News. “It just depends on your partners and what they are capable of doing, so I’m very thankful I can do that now [with Titan Industries]. When I started my curvy collection it had been a request from my customers. That was among the highest request for product diversity. That’s the same with shoes. Girls that have size 11 or higher are often forgotten, and hopefully that’s shifting.”
The footwear collection will focus on comfort, while giving the consumer uniqueness with the use of materials, print, shapes and techniques, according to the designer.
She said, “With shoes there are a few essentials that I know I need. That’s how I approached it: ‘What are the bones of my closet in terms of shoes? What do in need to give her, and what is she always reaching for?'”
Costumers can expect animal prints from leopard to snake as well as stripes, which Roy described as her neutrals.
She added, “Shoes are definitely the framework and the foundation to any outfit. It’s something that crosses so many barriers, no matter what size you are. A shoe is just universal.”
At price points ranging from approximately $60 to $130, Titan Industries CEO Joe Ouaknine says Macy’s will be a focal partner.
He added,“This opportunity will open up a new category that has tremendous potential — sexy, contemporary-driven comfort and wide widths. We also like the management team and the ownership and the care they’ve taken to build the Rachel Roy brand. We feel it’s a good match and it complements our portfolio.”
This isn’t Roy’s first time launching shoes. The brand was part of the Jones Apparel Group, which was acquired by Sycamore Partners. The Rachel Roy brand was then sold to Topson Downs in 2014. During the sale process, all of the footwear and accessory categories that were being produced in-house by Jones were discontinued.
Now, the designer is looking to reach a broader audience.
She said, “I’m always hoping to appeal to more people, and I’m hoping what I design resonates with people. The customer has never changed, and that’s the woman who has many hats to wear. With this collection I hope to reach a broader audience that does feel like this is for them.”