Women’s Buzz: Elizabeth & James, Prajaa & More

Zink’s Element
Charlie by Matthew Zink is diving into footwear. The women’s swimwear and resort apparel label will expand into shoes for resort ’13, with nine styles of sandals and pumps designed to complement its existing offerings. The leather-lined footwear is made in Italy and will retail for $450 to $650. The brand is targeting retailers that already carry its swim and resort wear, including Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue, and will also sell the looks on the brand’s e-commerce site starting in October. “My vision for Charlie shoes [is] to pay tribute to the style sirens of the 1970s,” said designer Matthew Zink. “My mission is to create quality, iconic, wearable footwear for women to enjoy season after season.”

Sneaker Style
Elizabeth & James is experimenting with a sportier side. The contemporary lifestyle brand of ready-to-wear, footwear, jewelry and eyewear will include four sneaker styles in its resort collection. Retailing for $275, the looks come in metallic silver, shades of gray and multicolors with contrast laces and are the first athletic-inspired shoes for the brand, which is designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The sneakers will be available at Bergdorf Goodman and other retailers early next year.

Ladies Choice

Prajaa will now be available for women. The brand, which launched with men’s shoes in 2011, is adding women’s footwear for spring ’13. The rollout comes on the heels of a soft launch for fall ’12, which consists of a slip-on style created in partnership with designer Jussara Lee. The Jussara Lee collaboration will debut at Lee’s eponymous New York boutique in late summer, while the larger spring offering of six Prajaa styles, priced at $200 to $300, will be unveiled in August at Project in Las Vegas. Prajaa founder and designer Ferdy Tumakaka said the new category is a natural step for his brand. “The men’s market has definitely been exuberant, but many of our clients have been women buying the mens’ smallest sizes,” he said.

Sport Chic
J. Litvack is getting in on the women’ fashion sneaker market with its first athletic-inspired styles. The resort ’13 shoes — two in leather with tartan flannel linings and two in napa leather with gold toecaps and black or gold glitter — are set to hit stores in August. Prices range from $150 to $190, and the label is targeting existing wholesale partners such as Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor. “The sneaker category is [compatible with] the extreme casual direction [I am] taking with the brand,” said Jay Litvack, founder and president of the year-old label. “Sneakers fit in very nicely with what I am doing: chic, casual, impulsive and fun.”

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