Keds Launches Custom

NEW YORK — Keds is making it personal.

On Tuesday, Lexington, Mass.-based Keds, a division of Collective Brands Inc.’s Stride Rite unit, announced it is teaming up with Zazzle.com to launch Keds Studio, an online customization program that lets shoppers personalize the company’s classic lace-up and slip-on Champion styles.

In an industry first, customers will be able to use the Keds Studio to upload their own graphics, artwork and text. They will also be able to choose from pre-selected colors and designs, including some from Sarah Singh and Gen Art artists. At launch, five styles of the Champion for women and kids will be offered, ranging in price from $50 to $60. The shoes ordered through the site will be produced within 48 hours and will be delivered to customers in one to two weeks.

The Keds Studio will also give shoppers the option of selling their designs through the site, using Zazzle’s “Name Your Royalty” system. Customers can price their own designs – and earn the difference from the base price on any sale as a profit for themselves.

“Since the launch of the Champion in 1916, consumers have been enhancing their Keds with their own personal style using markers, paints, pens and other creative tools,” Gregg Ribatt, president and CEO of Stride Rite, said in a statement. “This growing form of expression was the inspiration for Keds Studio. Through our relationship with Zazzle, we can now offer Keds customers the opportunity to bring an uninhibited range of design options and a more professional design aesthetic to this classic shoe.”

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