POP ICONS STEP INTO SHOE BIZ, BUT A SHOO-IN IT’S NOT
By Martinne Geller
Savvy pop icons seeking to cash in on their fame are stepping out with their own shoe lines, but manufacturers can easily trip up when banking on something as fleeting as a hot name, industry experts warned.
At the World Shoe Association’s (WSA) semiannual show in Las Vegas last weekend, musicians’ monikers seemed as common as those of fashion designers.
But unlike Nike Inc.’s Air Jordans, named after basketball icon Michael Jordan, for example, many of the latest celebrity shoes are not co-branded. Instead, they rest solely on such names as Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, Carlos Santana, Snoop Dogg and Nellie.
"We’ve never seen anything like this before," said Michael Greenberg, president of hip shoe maker Skechers USA Inc. (SKX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), of the large number of celebrity brands. Skechers has used singers such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as spokeswomen, but has never named shoe lines after them.