Nine West has trod a sure and steady path since it was first established in New York nearly 35 years ago, and to mark the reopening of its flagship Dubai store, Ninive Giordano, the senior vice president of product development at Nine West, flew in from the US. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane gets the skinny on the trends she's forecasting for 2012
Nine West recently opened its newly refurbished doors in Dubai Mall, coinciding with the launch of a vibrant spring/summer 2012 collection. You'll need a pair of comfortable shoes to walk around the boutique, which boasts more than 1,500 square feet of wall-to-wall footwear, bags and accessories.
Is there a predominant theme to the S/S2012 collection?
There is no one theme, but there are some key trends we're addressing for spring/summer 2012. Colour has been very important, prints too, and strong combinations like florals, for example. Our customer appreciates graphic prints and we think she is also welcoming metallics more so than she was last year. I don't think she's ready to give up platformed shoes just yet, either.
Name some key seasonal colours.
Yellow is very important this season and our consumers are still coveting all shades of blue. Red is being embraced and pink is definitely back - from soft, pale pink to hot fuchsia.
We love strappy sandals and bejewelled flats in this part of the world. Does the new collection offer anything in that regard?
Absolutely! Our consumers love embellishments on their footwear and with the shifts in silhouettes, they are showing us that they like a range of strappy sandals. With the longer silhouettes we think flat sandals with ornamentation look wonderful - all the way up to high-heeled, platformed sandals.
What's your favourite part of this collection?
I am loving prints. I definitely think that the idea of wearing prints, not just in ready-to-wear but in footwear, looks really fresh. What I also like are the lower kitten heels on single soles and we are still doing a lot with wedges. It's very hard to say which my favourite part is because I love shoes and it's very exciting to see a collection come to life.
What's an average day like for you?
My team and I start our day by getting caught up with what's going on at the global level. We do a lot of research, whether it be virally, online, in publications or through the trend forecast services we belong to. We talk about trends practically on a daily basis and are constantly designing products as we put out six collections a year - bringing a new collection to the market every two months.
So we illustrate these concepts and think about how they relate to our consumer, discuss how they relate to the deliveries we're preparing for and how we can best bring them to market for our consumer while meeting our pricing criteria.
So do you have to approve every single design that hits the shelves?
I'm certainly aware of every style and design that hits the shelves because I'm very much a part of the process and focused on the merchandising aspect of it. I report in to the chief fashion officer for the entire corporation and share all of our designs and prototypes with her.
How would you describe ladies who wear Nine West shoes?
I think we have a really practical, fashion-savvy consumer, who likes and appreciates fashion. She likes new materials and colour - and she's very much aware of what the key trends are every season.