Schutz is in growth mode. Following the appointment of former Barneys New York fashion director Marina Larroude in July as its head, the brand is even more focused on becoming a household name.
And it’s certainly on its way. According to founder Alexandre Birman, Schutz (which is part of Birman’s Brazilian footwear empire Arezzo & Co) has seen a 60% year-over-year sales jump, and 20% of the brand’s total revenue comes from the United States. Under Larroude’s guidance, Birman said Schutz will see a rise in elevated product and consumer connection.
“She is extremely in alignment to the brand’s DNA,” he said. “We needed somebody to embrace the personality of Schutz. Marina brings that. Not only for her natural styling and fashion and being a native Brazilian, but also for her 20-year experience in New York. She balances everything we are looking for.”
Prior to her new position at Schutz, Larroude started her career in publishing. She was Teen Vogue‘s fashion director before taking the jump into retail at Barneys. She said she’s using this array of knowledge to help reach consumers.
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“Each part of my 20-year career has taught me how to manage a team, how to turn around an idea from editorial and create a desirable image that people want to be part of,” said Larroude. “From retail, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work in stores. All that knowledge is what I can bring to the brand. And from the female perspective, I understand what a woman needs.”
As far as strategy, Larroude said the brand will increase its footprint by opening new stores, including in Dallas, next year. Wholesale remains important, too, as Schutz is officially in all Bloomingdale’s locations, and adding Nordstrom NYC in October will also be key.
She added, “I just want people to discover the brand in a bigger way. This is such a hidden gem and I want the hidden gem to be out there. That’s goal one. We have the best merchandise for this amazing price point. I don’t think we have any competition. Our shoes are $100 to $250 and they are all leather. We want women to feel empowered in their shoes and wear these shoes for every moment in their lives.”
In addition, Larroude will be concentrating on content and storytelling for Schutz e-commerce by elevating campaigns and showing consumers how the shoes can be worn. Product remains central to success, she explained, noting expansion in flats and kitten heels. Birman added there will be more differentiation in assortment as far as construction and silhouettes are concerned while still staying in the $180 average price point.
“The sky is the limit,” said Larroude.
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