Wandler Launches Shoes Every Bit as Good as its Cult Favorite Bags

“They call it ‘the goldmine.’ Everything I put in that window sells,” said Bergdorf Goodman divisional merchandise VP Mehmet Tangoren. He was referring to the New York department store’s famous corner window. And last week, it received a roaring takeover starring new brand Wandler. The entire window was leopard themed and dedicated entirely to the fledgling label.

The activity celebrates Wandler’s footwear debut, a five-style high-summer collection. Bergdorf Goodman has the U.S. physical store exclusive. Online partners include Browns, Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter.

Wandler, which launched as a handbag brand in late 2017, has swiftly become a fashion favorite for its abstract shapes, luxury fabrications and competitive prices averaging around $800. Shoes, said founder Elza Wandler, continue the design aesthetic of the bags.

Wandler
Wandler fall ’19.
CREDIT: Wandler

“I wanted to do something very feminine and elegant but still abstract and modern in color and shape,” she explained, adding that comfort is paramount.

A highlight is the square-toed, 85-millimeter Isa sandal, which will be translated into boot versions for fall. Other key styles include ankle boots with contrast heels in unusual color combinations, such as sky blue and Bordeaux, as well as two-tone mules. There is also a healthy injection of zebra.

When it comes to price and positioning for footwear, Wandler aims to challenge the accepted status quo. Despite the product’s midrange price points, starting at $470, Wandler and brand consultant Bart Ramakers have always stipulated in their negotiations that it sit alongside premium labels.

Wandler
Wandler, high summer ’19.
CREDIT: Wandler

Wandler attests that the brand is produced in the same factories that make higher-priced goods, using similar leather and maintaining the same quality. At Bergdorf Goodman, for instance, customers will find the brand ensconced on the store’s designer floor.

While Wandler could ramp up her prices, that’s not her agenda. “We have to be competitive,” she said. “I’m not going to charge $1,600. With those sorts of prices, you’re paying for a name. If we are to succeed, we need to do things differently. I don’t think we could survive otherwise.”

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