70s shoes strut the NY runway in style - and price

Wed Feb 6, 2008 2:16pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jan Paschal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 1970s hit the catwalk at New York Fashion Week in not only style but price, with budget shoe brand Payless ShoeSource providing footwear valued at less than $45 a pair for three designer shows.

In contrast to the Manolo Blahniks used by other designers -- that sell for several hundred dollars -- Payless hit the runway with shoes created and shown by Abaete by Laura Poretzky, Lela Rose and Stacey Bendet for Alice + Olivia.

"Can you believe -- Payless? They look like Louboutins," Rose said as she held her gray wool pumps, referring to French designer Christian Louboutin, whose shoes fetch $600 a pair or more in luxury department stores.

"I don't do anything for Payless for more than $25, while just four or five buttons would go for that in my normal price point," said Rose, whose dresses often sell for more than $1,000 apiece.

Although Payless, owned by Collective Brands Inc, has strutted the New York catwalks for the past couple of years, its presence this year comes amid a U.S. economy losing jobs and a stock market down sharply.

"Payless' vision is to democratize fashion," Chief Executive Matt Rubel said of the designer licensing deals. "Our philosophy has been to find the young emerging talent, then bring it to our customer at affordable prices."

Poretzky designed a suede high-heeled ankle boot and two silk pumps with pewter studs, while Bendet created boots, Mary Jane wedges and flats in bright colors, polka dots and plaids.

Poretzky put most of the models in gray ankle boots and socks to show her fall collection of wool, jersey and chiffon dresses and separates in gray, black and cadet blue.   Continued...