Schwartz & Benjamin is the latest company to land a big licensing deal. The firm announced today that it has entered a joint-venture to manage the design, production and sales rights for footwear under the Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet label.
It’s a significant move for Schwartz & Benjamin, which last month parted ways with Diane von Furstenberg, but continues to be the licensee for Kate Spade New York, Derek Lam and Rebecca Minkoff. The Alice + Olivia shoe line was previously produced in-house.
“We really believe in our shoe business, and while we have had exciting growth, we felt that to really grow to the next level we needed an experienced partner,” Stacey Bendet, founder of Alice + Olivia, said about the decision to partner on the footwear line. “Schwartz & Benjamin has the most incredible manufacturing expertise in the industry. We see [shoes] as a very important part of our expansion both in our own stores and in our partner retail stores; we feel there is truly an opportunity in the market for the feminine aesthetic and sophisticated whimsy we are known for.”
Bendet will continue to serve as the creative director of the shoe collection and provide inspiration for the designs each season. The two companies will initially launch a small resort capsule collection in November, followed by a full offering for spring ’16.
Danny Schwartz, CEO of Schwartz & Benjamin, said, “We have had several relationships with brands that have lasted 30-plus years, so we don’t look to change, but we like to be prepared for change. We constantly meet with people about potential new business opportunities in an effort to make sure we have the most modern, relevant portfolio of brands in the industry. Adding Alice and Olivia into our portfolio helps us achieve this objective.”
The footwear line will range from sandals to boots and is expected to retail for $150 to $695. The shoes will be available at Alice + Olivia locations and department stores globally.