Aquatalia Opens Big Apple Digs, Bows New Line

NEW YORK — Aquatalia by Marvin K. is in a New York state of mind.

The 23-year-old, Montreal-based company recently set up a 2,500-sq.-ft. showroom and headquarters in midtown Manhattan, where it plans to base its international operations under the new moniker Aquatalia Group, starting in spring ’13. The showroom will be unveiled during FFANY on Aug. 2, along with Aquatalia’s spring ’13 offerings and a new fashion-focused label called Marvin K.

“We are growing our international business, and international buyers come to New York on a year-round basis,” said Rena Krasnow, COO and fashion director for Aquatalia Group. “With the launch of our second brand, it made sense to have everything housed in New York.”

Marvin Krasnow, president and creative director, said fashion is at the heart of his new line, which represents a departure from Aquatalia’s boot-centric offerings. But like Aquatalia, Marvin K. is made in Italy.

The line will feature about 40 styles of platforms, wedges and single-sole heels in leather and suede with pops of color and texture. The label, which carries price points of $300 to $500, is targeting current Aquatalia wholesale partners such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as trend-focused boutiques that cater to a younger customer, according to Marvin Krasnow.

“Marvin K. gives us much more flexibility,” said the designer. “It’s a very exciting combination of different textures and materials. We don’t have the design restrictions we have with Aquatalia because we’re not [limited] to weather-proof materials.”

Other initiatives on the horizon include a beefed-up staff; a revamped website set to launch in August; a first-time outdoor advertising campaign that will span New York, Chicago and Boston; and a fall ’12 boot collaboration with Bergdorf Goodman for the store’s 111th anniversary.

Krasnow said his company has been on the upswing, with an overall revenue increase of 15 percent to 25 percent each year since 2007.

Retailers also were upbeat on the company. “Aquatalia has been a strong brand for us, especially the boots because they are fashionable, yet they [offer] protection in cold weather, snow and sleet,” said Lori Miller, buyer for Shirise, a boutique in Glencoe, Ill. “The price point has also been a strong factor for us.”

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