Thursday, October 4, 2007

Florsheim gets a designer, at last! But Duckie Brown?!

Duckie Brown, Florsheim Team Up;
Invitation Lists Are Going High-Tech

The ultra-hip Duckie Brown label had an unlikely sponsor for its men's runway show last night: the ultra-conservative shoe brand Florsheim.

It all began when a high-school senior from Ridgewood, N.J., pressed the send button on an email to the Duckie Brown designers, saying he loved their clothes and wanted them to make an outfit for him to wear to his high-school prom. The designers, Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, thought it over -- and spoke to the boy's father -- before complying. Then in June, the New Yorker magazine ran an item on the teenager's request. It mentioned that to complete the outfit, the designers had sent the youth a pair of black Florsheim shoes "with a seventies feel."

That reference caught the eye of a Florsheim executive who happened to be reading the magazine on a flight from San Francisco to New York. He brought the article to the attention of Florsheim's top executives.

No idea what Duckie Brown looks like? Click here.

As it happened, Florsheim had been looking for a high-end designer who could create a line for Florsheim, like Vera Wang for Kohl's and Thom Browne for Brooks Brothers. Chief Operating Officer John Florsheim said he hadn't heard of the Duckie Brown label. But another executive recalled having seen the line, looked up the label on the Internet and set up a meeting with Messrs. Cox and Silver.

Duckie Brown is known for sending models down runways in pink corduroy suits and three-arm sweaters, among other eye-catching and sometimes head-scratching looks. In the end, Mr. Florsheim was convinced that Duckie Brown's energy and edge could help his brand. "It's a marriage of opposites but it actually makes more sense to take something that is offbeat like Duckie Brown and try to marry it with Florsheim," he says.

more @ WSJ

Comments: After year of looking at airplane quality shoes with old and rusty designs, at last some design makeover blood is being pumped into the leading Men's Shoe band florsheim. Not to mention they have a band name that's hard to spell much less type on a URL address line -- they really haven't done much progress in the design front. Maybe they're paying attention to all that hoopla that design *cough* hardware firm apple has been getting.

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