Former Camuto Group Exec Launches Women’s Brand

After more than three decades in the footwear business, Stephen Kaye is starting his own New York-based women’s brand, Zoe & Luca, for fall ’12.


Six styles of boots, primarily in calf and suede, will hit stores in August with price points that range from about $100 to $225. Flats, wedges and other styles will be added for spring ’13. The label is targeting department stores.


“I saw a need for fresh, contemporary fashion at affordable prices,” said Kaye, whose background includes serving as VP of corporate sales for PLV Studio Inc. and VP of contemporary brands at Camuto Group. “I am acutely aware of making sure the retailer has a profitable experience.”


Kaye added that the launch is a joint venture with Massachusetts-based Horizon Footwear LLC., which has extensive factory and production facilities in China, where the collection will be manufactured.


“The biggest challenge will be to grow the brand slowly and profitably,” he said, “but there are always opportunities [in the market] for great value. … [Footwear brands] should pick out key classifications and become a master of those classifications.”

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