3 Questions for Penny Loves Kenny’s Jon Bolinger

Penny Loves Kenny is getting a new look.

The brand, owned by Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Titan Industries, debuted a revamped product line this year and is set to unveil a new brand logo this week. And an updated e-commerce website is also in the works.

“All the changes were driven by internal decisions to update the brand and to better position it in the market,” said Jon Bolinger, director of design merchandising and product development for the brand. “The new logo is a fresh spin on the name. It fits with the image of the line as fun, sexy and feminine.”

As for the look of the spring ’12 collection, Bollinger said to expect bold changes. “Spring is all about detailing and creating the unexpected,” he said. “It is a fun time in footwear because the consumer is actually demanding fresh looks. She is all about value — not cheap, but fashion at a value.”

Here, Bolinger opens up about the brand’s new focus and its target customer.

1. Why did the brand decide to take a new direction?
JB: To be successful in this challenging retail environment, you have to keep improving and reinventing yourself to meet the consumer demands. It was time to not 100 percent change Penny Loves Kenny, but to rather redefine and reshape the brand’s image. We will be launching a new logo at [FFANY] that gives the line a new, fresh look.

2. Where do you get inspiration for the designs?
The shoes have a West Coast fashion look that is casual-inspired. My goal is to create the unexpected within each collection. I want to make fun shoes that my customer will love to wear and show off to her friends. I get most of my ideas from observing people. I love to people watch. You can get a ton of information by just sitting on a bench, whether you are in Hong Kong, London, Milan, Florence, New York or Los Angeles. [I also] watch and see what they are gravitating to in clothing, accessories and footwear. I love to vintage shop as well. You can always find hidden treasures that can be updated.

3. How would you describe the Penny Loves Kenny customer?
She is the girl next door, but with a little attitude. She is feminine and sexy, but edgy at the same time. She is playful and her style is her own. It’s not totally age specific, but we are targeting the needs of the high school senior/college student. We will then trend up and trend down, but that is our focus. You have to be focused and can’t be everything to everybody.

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