With its latest wholesale partnership, Swedish footwear brand Vagabond Shoemakers has bolstered its efforts to build an increased U.S. presence.
The 25-year-old company last month added its first major American department store, Nordstrom, to its roster, which also includes Urban Outfitters, Asos and Shoe Market NYC.
“We believe it is our mix of marketplaces that opens new and interesting doors for us, and we are very happy to be starting with Nordstrom now,” said Marie Nilsson Peterzén, co-founder and creative director of Vagabond, who oversees daily operations alongside CEO Anders Odén.
The Varberg-based company distributes men’s and women’s accessories in more than 2,500 independent stores in 42 countries. Its March 1 launch on Nordstrom.com, followed by two additional drops during the month, featured a curated selection of styles from the brand’s collection of modern architectural shoes, which retail for $75 to $265.
Vagabond’s Scandinavian-inspired pieces include oversized platform sandals, Chelsea boots, loafers and wooden block-heeled pumps. “Midheight shafts, sculpted heels and thin outsoles create a sleek and feminine last for a classic look,” said Anna Fahle Björcke, head of brand communications.
While high-quality materials such as sheep and goat leather are globally sourced, the shoes themselves are manufactured primarily in Vietnam in the brand’s own facility. Meanwhile, a “mini-factory” at the company’s West Sweden headquarters is used for testing and sampling, allowing for complete creative control.
“Everything from the first sketch to the making of the lasts and the outsoles, plus each piece of stitching, is done in-house. We have a full-scale mini-factory in-house that enables us to protect and stay on top of the Vagabond ‘receipt,’” explained Björcke.
As Vagabond steps up its global outreach, it is relying on influencers to connect with its target consumers. Cipriana Quann, half of the New York-based twin influencers Urban Bush Babes, is a prime example of the customer Vagabond hopes to draw to its label. Quann has already rubber-stamped the brand by promoting a pair of its spring ’18 pumps on her Instagram, which boasts 157,000 followers.
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