Tall gladiators

7 May

It looks like gladiators would be the hottest thing this summer. After the success of the flat gladiators, designers took the idea to the next level. If Ali Larter’s Balenciaga sandals (last post) could be called Gladiators, I think these shoes deserve the this name too.

The name Camilla Skovgaard is new for me (shame on me). After seeing her work, I’d say keep an eye on her.

It has a 4″ (10 cm) heel, is padded on the inside and costs about $550. Could it be your sandal for the summer?


Today, I’m also featuring something different in my post. It’s still fashion, but it isn’t only about shoes.

It might be nothing new to all of us, but I thought it would be nice to at least talk a bit about it:

The Hills’ Star to Design Clothing for Kohl’s

Lauren Conrad, the honey-blond star of MTV’s hit reality series “The Hills,” has attended the exclusive Crillon Ball in Paris, walked a runway at L.A. Fashion Week and been on the cover of Rolling Stone.

But she is about to brave a new frontier: Kohl’s, the discount department store chain.

Kohl’s is expected to announce Wednesday that in October, Ms. Conrad, 23, will introduce a casual California-inspired clothing line for young women in 300 Kohl’s stores and on Kohls.com. Later, Kohl’s plans to sell the exclusive brand, LC Lauren Conrad, in all of its more than 1,000 stores.

The retailer has become a favorite of analysts in part for a strategy of acquiring well-known brands (or brands by well-known people) and selling them at low prices. It is particularly effective in this economy where shopping is no longer a national pastime.

“To be important to the consumer today, you need to differentiate yourself,” Don Brennan, senior executive vice president of Kohl’s, said Monday in a telephone interview. “You need to give the customer a reason to come in and shop with you. And we feel like these exclusive brands do just that.”

It is a model that its higher scale competitor Target has used to its advantage and that Wal-Mart has struggled to master. Last year, exclusive and private brands at Kohl’s — like Simply Vera by Vera Wang; Elle, which is named for the women’s fashion magazine; and Food Network — accounted for more than 40 percent of the company’s sales. In March, when sales at most of the nation’s department stores open at least a year fell by double digits, sales at comparable Kohl’s stores fell a modest 4.3 percent.

Kohl’s executives are banking on Ms. Conrad’s celebrity — and on young women’s desire to emulate her feminine yet relaxed way of dressing, which has been chronicled for years on two MTV reality shows. Ms. Conrad has grown up on television — first as the good girl in the hit series “Laguna Beach,” about the rivalries and heartaches of privileged California teenagers, and then on “The Hills,” a spinoff that is MTV’s top-rated show.

“The Hills” picks up where “Laguna Beach” left off, following Ms. Conrad’s life as a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, an intern at Teen Vogue, a single woman and a voice of reason among petty friends. Ms. Conrad’s rift with her former best friend, Heidi Montag, is one of the most talked-about pop culture rivalries since Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

The collaboration between Kohl’s and Ms. Conrad has been in the works for more than a year, before the economy took a nose dive. Kohl’s, however, is in a category of stores — discount and low-price chains — uniquely positioned to weather a recession. Prices in Ms. Conrad’s clothing line are $20 to $60. That may work in her favor.

“Now that the economy’s not doing so well, I think it’s everybody that’s looking for bargains,” Ms. Conrad said. “I think that it’s actually great timing.”

This is not Ms. Conrad’s first attempt at designing a clothing line — but the low prices are new. In 2007, MTV and Tangerine promotions helped finance a line by Ms. Conrad called Lauren Conrad Collection. Casual dresses sold for more than $100 — and fans and some fashion writers complained. Ms. Conrad acknowledged in a telephone interview that the clothing line “wasn’t as accessible and affordable as I wanted it to be.”

Her new line will be exclusive to Kohl’s and will have wardrobe basics like jeans and knits. Kohl’s will manufacture, produce, distribute and market the collection. And Ms. Conrad and Kohl’s will collaborate on the designs.

Her original clothing line, Lauren Conrad Collection, is being overhauled, she said. She plans to take it overseas in 2010. “I wanted to give it a whole new feel,” she said, “but that requires us to take a few seasons off.”

Ms. Conrad’s label for Kohl’s represents a new chapter for her: she has said this will be her last season on “The Hills.” Little did fans know that while she was darting in and out of nightclubs with a camera crew, she was spending her days with Kohl’s.

“I’m very excited that I’m allowed to talk about it now,” she said.

– The interview has been published on The New York Times‘ webpage. LC’s current products can be found here.

There are also two videos about it, a shorter one (1’6″) and a longer one (4’35”); the latter doesn’t have any sound, as I experienced it:

Next time, I will return to the shoe topic, I promise 🙂


6 Responses to “Tall gladiators”

  1. janettaylor May 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Húúú Dexter! Az az első gladiátor, tényleg jó szolgálatot tenne egész nyáron. Gyere a mamához! Nyami! :))))

    Lauren Conradot nem csípem… :S

  2. Insidemode May 8, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    I love the look of the tall gladiator, but I’m not sure. It’s totally the kind of shoe I would go for, but for some reason, gladitors have been around for such a while recently. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m getting a little tired of seeing the Dior Extreme Gladitors everywhere. The Camilla Skovgaard pair you showed are seriously warming my hear though. You always manage to find the perfect pair of shoes.

    Now onto Lauren…all I have to say is why?! I suppose it will be marketed as being like a collabortion she’s doing with Kohl’s. But doesn’t that on’y happen with sucessful design companies. She should have learned her lesson the first time.

  3. La Couturier May 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    I didn’t know about this! =] So thank you for the heads up =]

    Not a big fan of Lauren Conrad, but I’ll check out the collab. anyway =]

    La C.

  4. Sunniva May 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Those gladiator heels are really amazing! I so wish I owned a pair exactly like the ones Vanessa Hudgens is wearing in those photos xoxo

  5. anna May 10, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    They’re really beautiful but I can’t afford $550

  6. big and tall July 30, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    Those heals are huge , I must admit I would look like a giant as I am already tall ..but I do love the style and if looking for clothes is hard in the stores look online to find what you want. 🙂

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