Steve Madden Inks Shoe Deal With Juicy Couture

Steven Madden Ltd. is set to work its magic on Juicy Couture.

Starting for spring ’15, Madden will design, source and manufacture a women’s category for the label as Juicy embarks on a global expansion phase and sharpens its focus on footwear, handbags and jewelry.

Juicy, now under brand portfolio firm Authentic Brands Group, which paid $195 million to Fifth & Pacific for the intellectual property rights in October last year, will offer a full women’s footwear line, ranging from $100 to $200. A mid-tier offering will launch at a later date.

Madden said his company has set up a separate team to work on Juicy’s new footwear offering. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Steve Madden grew up in a parallel path to Juicy, and the girls who wore Steve Madden in the 1990s and 2000s wore Juicy. It was like a uniform,” Madden said.

He added, “The line for Juicy will have the DNA of Steve Madden because Juicy is so cool, but the brand will be logo-driven, while Steve Madden is not.”

Madden’s leadership in the footwear market and robust understanding of the young, Juicy consumer is part of the reason the firm was at the top of ABG’s list of partners for the company’s footwear venture, said ABG Chairman and CEO Jamie Salter.

“The Juicy consumer is fun and flirty, and she is definitely setting the trends. It was important that our partner understood that consumer, which Steve Madden does,” Salter said.
Madden’s speed to market was another quality that appealed to ABG, said company President and Chief Marketing Officer Nick Woodhouse.

“When we initially started talking about footwear, we thought one of the challenges would be the timing to go to market, and that’s why Steve is the perfect partner for us because of the speedy timeline that he makes happen for footwear,” Woodhouse said. 

“We know Steve Madden and his company move fast and do not let grass grow under their feet. They tend to be more strategic than tactical and they think long term,” he said.

Salter added, “The other reason we like Steve Madden is because he’s been around a long time and he gets it. He invests in brands and we invest in brands.”

As ABG embarks on a global effort to expand Juicy and refresh the brand, a key focus will be longevity, with the goal of eventually opening standalone Juicy Couture footwear stores.

While shoes are the first item in ABG’s plans for Juicy, handbags, jewelry, intimates and lingerie are to follow, Woodhouse said.

“We’re going to kick off with footwear to tell the market that there’s more to the House of Juicy than a velour tracksuit. It’s a full complement to that youth and that full Juicy uniform that the Juicy girl likes to wear.”

Customers will be able to purchase the new shoe line in Juicy Couture stores, online, shop-in-shops and in select department stores. 

The brand’s higher-priced footwear collection will be available internationally, while the mid-tier range will be stocked mostly through department stores and shop-in-shop concept stores in the U.S.

Juicy Couture has featured a footwear line in the past through licensing company Schwartz & Benjamin, which designed, manufactured and sold Juicy shoes to wholesale accounts.

Schwartz parted ways with licensor Juicy last year, with spring ’13 being the final season of the partnership.

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