Women’s Buzz: Matt Bernson, Corso Como & More

Stepping Out
Matt Bernson is reaching beyond the sandal. The New York-based brand, which has gathered a Hollywood following with its more open looks, is launching a fuller collection of footwear for fall ’10. The expanded line will debut at the February shoe shows and includes about 32 styles of casual non-sandal looks, including ballet flats, moccasins, booties, tall boots, oxfords (at left) and clogs. Priced between $135 and $355, the collection of predominantly Brazilian-made footwear is expected to retail at Scoop, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Kitson and American Rag, among others.


Cozy Como
Corso Como is kicking off its heels for spring ’10 with totable rubber-soled slippers. The company’s Ballesox line includes two styles of foldable footwear — a traditional flat and a flat embellished with an ankle tie — for when women choose to trade in their stilettos for more comfortable options. The shoes, which have kidskin uppers and are lined with Lycra socks, are offered in about 10 different colorways. While the San Francisco-based company is seeking to sell at untraditional spots, including nightclubs, it is first expected to retail for $60 at Bloomingdales.com and American Rag.


In the Bag
New York-based Pour La Victoire, known for its offering of classic silhouettes with edgy twists, is getting into the bag business. The brand will roll out 12 styles of bridal and evening handbags for spring and summer. Made from satin and chiffon, the bags include over-the-shoulder and clutch styles embellished with crystal details and oversized fabric flowers (above). The line is expected to retail for $75 to $125 on Zappos.com.


Soft Touch
Comfort firm Sofft Shoe Co. is moving into the women’s fashion market for fall ’10 with the launch of Isola. Aimed at cosmopolitan women between the ages of 28 and 45, the collection of trend-driven looks includes flats, pumps (above, right), platforms and boots. The line’s focus is on style with luxe design elements such as embroidery and ornamentation, but the Andover, Mass.-based company hasn’t forgotten its comfort roots. The entire collection features leather-covered cushioned footbeds and outsoles with TPU inserts for added traction and flexibility. Targeting better department stores and boutiques, the line will be priced between $109 and $299.


Growing Young
Lacoste is out to capture more of the teen market. After getting requests from retailers at past FFANY and Project shows, the brand has expanded its spring and summer ’10 product offering to incorporate more kids’ and juniors’ styles, which are distributed by New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Pentland USA. “Historically, kids’ and juniors’ has been a small part of what we’ve done internationally, but we’re getting more requests from customers,” said VP of sales and marketing Dave Grange. The styles will feature more low-profile, vulcanized offerings with additional colors. Grange said the juniors’, children’s and infants category could grow to as much as 15 percent of the shoe business. The line will continue to retail between $40 and $80 at select independent retailers and department stores.

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