Nina’s New Girl

NEW YORK — Nina Footwear is looking for its newly launched Miss Trish label to fill a void in the firm’s product offerings and drive business in the hot contemporary segment.

The brand, which had specialized in high-priced flip-flops via a licensing deal with Schwartz & Benjamin, is being repositioned as a lower-priced, less-seasonal line. The “Capri” part of the brand’s name, formerly Miss Trish of Capri, has also been dropped.

“[The line] still speaks to the woman who wants something new in her wardrobe, but it’s not necessarily [bound to] one location, and it’s year-round,” said designer Trish Carroll.

Scott Silverstein, CEO of Nina Footwear, said the firm expects the line, which is a joint venture between both parties, to become a big part of Nina’s business.

“Miss Trish product doesn’t look like or read like Nina or Delman product at all. Also, the contemporary price point is an opportunity for us, since we don’t really cover [that now]. We go from Nina, which is so-called better in department stores, to the salon with Delman. [Now we will] have the $150 sandal price point,” he said.

“With Miss Trish coming on board, I see our company’s total growth having sustained double-digit increases every year for the next four or five years. There’s been some nice growth [before, but] then in 2008 and 2009 it turned the other way.”

The debut collection features printed ballet flats, neon sandals and signature bejeweled flats, and price points range from $150 to $500.

After launching at FFANY earlier this month, the brand’s mobile showroom — a van with a close-up of a tiger’s eyes — will appear at FN Platform in Las Vegas this week.

“I launched Miss Trish of Capri from a Volkswagen van parked at a Hamptons winery, so having my showroom ‘pop up’ in this van is staying true to my roots,” said Carroll.

Lance Deshazo, president of contemporary and designer brands at Nina, said target distribution includes luxury independents and better department stores, both domestically and globally.

For their part, retailers are upbeat about the new venture.

“The line was the most refreshing thing at FFANY this year for me,” said Uri Krause, owner of Via Veneto in Charlotte, N.C. “Even the jelly thong flats are adorable: so fresh, so new and different from anything else I see in the market.”

Miss Trish also is planning aggressive expansion in other product categories. Carroll, who has worked as an accessories designer at such brands as Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, envisions handbags, swimwear, T-shirts, lip gloss and a fragrance in the next three to five years.

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