When the D’Amelio family set out to create their own line of brands, footwear was a natural place to start.
“This product category was something as a family, with the power of all three incredible women in my family, we would be able to launch in a good way,” explained Marc D’Amelio, father to social media stars Dixie and Charli and husband to Heidi, in an interview with FN. “It just made sense to us. They all love footwear.”
D’Amelio Footwear, the first debut in a series of other teased launches across other categories, is set to release in June under the family’s new eponymous company, D’Amelio Brands, which announced $6 million in seed funding in September from a group of investors including Fanatics Inc. CEO Michael Rubin. From conception to completed product, the footwear creation process has been accomplished in under a year, largely overseen by Camuto Group veteran designer Lauren DiCicco, who joined the venture as head of design for the shoe line in August.
The footwear line also marks a change in business structure for the D’Amelio family: For the first time, they will have complete creative control over the brand building and marketing process, which is not typically the case in a brand collaboration or endorsement deal. Since rising to fame via TikTok, Dixie and Charli have partnered on collaborations with several brands such as Prada, Burberry, Morphe and Dunkin’ Donuts and launched their own clothing brand, Social Tourist, in 2021. Dixie, the older of the two sisters, had been a Puma brand ambassador since 2021 and launched her own limited-edition footwear collection with the brand earlier this month.
“D’Amelio footwear is the first actual brand that we’ve started from nothing ,” said Marc, noting that the process will be a storyline on the third season of the family’s Hulu docuseries, The D’Amelio Show. “It’s pretty miraculous what we’ve done.”
The full collection of women’s shoes will include seven styles and 28 SKUs dropping throughout the month of June. Prices for pairs in the collection, which will include dress shoes and sneakers, will range from $80 to $200.
“We want to hit every every category,” said DiCicco, who previously worked for 16 years with Camuto Group, most recently as a senior designer for Jessica Simpson footwear. She’s currently the sole designer for the footwear line, but works alongside at least 12 full-time D’Amelio Brands employees including a general council, director of operations and head of e-commerce. The startup also tapped Camuto Group’s former SVP of sourcing and production Brian Fleming in November as its head of production for footwear. Marc is also no stranger to the brand building business, having previously run his own clothing brand, Madsoul Clothing Company, and a wholesale showroom out of New York City.
“Since we’re a startup, we’re starting small and then we’re going to grow this thing huge,” DiCicco said. “That’s the plan. Eventually we’ll probably have more team members.”
The shoes are being produced in two factories in China, with a plan to distribute them in a mainly direct-to-consumer model via a new website. In the future, Marc noted the potential for pop-up shops and partnerships with aligned retailers to carry the products as well.
“Brick-and-mortar is not out of the question, especially with a pop-up shop,” Marc said.
When it comes to marketing, social media will remain an important avenue for the family that got their start on TikTok. This origin story has meant a pre-existing connection with hundreds of millions of followers — and potential consumers. Dixie and Charli wearing the product will be one of the most important ways the company plans to generate curiosity and sales.
As Marc put it, “we’re a content company first that happens to create products.”
That’s not to say the products are just for show. The quality of the shoes, created by industry leaders, will speak for themselves, Marc said. Eventually, the goal is for the brand to take on a new life outside of TikTok and Instagram.
“We don’t want this to be a Dixie and Charli brand,” Marc said. “This is a real footwear company by two girls who love footwear.”