Wednesday, July 14, 2010


West 40th Street, NYC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

Recently the S/S 2011 debuted for retailers and press at the latest FFANY tradeshow---but we got the 411 on the MASSIVE DKNY label’s pre-spring 2010/2011 collection afterwards.

Previewing the three lines---the DKNY, DKNY Active and DKNYC, we were really impressed with what we saw. Granted, we have never seen this line prior…but we have seen boatloads of other labels…and have some perspective on that.


What really grabbed our eyeballs straight off---was that the entire showroom's contents, taken, as a whole, was very true to the DNA of the brand's lifestyle…modern chic, urban, on trend, versatile, and feminine, NOT girly. (We focused on the women’s side of things).

Congrats to the design team ---that we were told, is in-house. This outing by DKNY Footwear clearly makes sense; visual wise to what the label’s attire stands for. The tones were largely basic--- black, nude beige, various shades of brown…with bright color waves and fresh materials for the Active line.


The DKNY line is priced at what we would call approachable premium level…with key looks costing $179-$245.

The quality of materials and construction is obvious…with buttery smooth leathers, solid hardware, supportive, cushioning insoles, and outsoles that any wearer would be proud to see revealed when she crosses her legs…and dangles her shoe.

Without the label (duh)

Top looks---


The flats are huge…especially with Europeans who love the oversized logo emblazoned hardware on the uppers.

Our favorite, and rightfully so---garnering plenty of retailer interest…is this ELAINE wrap sandal----so Donna... an amazingly canny extension of her clothing…especially in Black.($245)

We saw a lot of styles with incredible details, including a clever mix of textures (lace laser cut-outs on this sandal---we think a clever summery version of an ankle boot). We got the feeling that retailers are selecting less ornate, multi-purpose shoes for their customers…

These low, ruffle wedge ankle straps sandals  (around $189),

This ‘wear with anything’ multi-straped, caged ankle wedge with nice contrast stitching, tiny studs (around $235)—and slight variations thereof....we coin this mobile height—add inches, lengthens the legs…and NYC walkable.

We didn’t even know this line existed… yes it does…and is VERY popular in Europe…

From what we could tell in Berlin and Spain, everyone wears denim 24/7--- as much as LA-ers…including to work, as premium brands are immensely sophisticated in cut and style.

DKNY Active’s offerings are therefore, trend on accompaniments to the clothes.

Casual flats ($79), and this chic little wedge with perforated straps (Rebecca-$85) are ideal for minis, or slim jeans/trousers that hit around the ankle, proportion appropriate. The latter is a silhouette we have seen elsewhere---but this version with visually variations in texture and colors, is more sophisticated.

The Vanessa, an embroidered sneaker ($79-pictured above), and the no laces Oriana ($79)…a canvas slip on--- are styles we see on guys and gals all over the planet. We thought the leather versions ($89) fun and more of a shoe, shoe.

"Throwaway" flip-flops with a springy wedges ---gently priced for matchy-matchy purposes.

A retail top choice was the $49 Huntington---in leather, printed snake, etc---a bestseller in refreshed color waves, prints and patterns.

Also in this slot of popularity---a coated canvas Mauri ($79)…

Perforated flats (around $79-$98).

Our top picks are the cork sandals ($59)…with tiny, reptile printed straps that are an edgy rip on the fisherman sandal.

Plus---these open mesh slip-ons---with a tiny wedge ($69-$89).

Actually, all the cork peds we saw are very popular in Europe---the thongs and wedges with these springy foot beds ==== so comfortable ($59-$89).

(Logo upper ---and around outer sole---labels well done)

LACE---in sneakers---an unexpected, fun treatment in a lifestyle basic.

Boho appeal with this natural fiber woven straw wedge.

Lastly, the DKNYC was spot-on for value. The styles we saw are versatile, and looks that one can wear to work and on the weekend. 

Not trying to be super “fashion forward” but contemporary in appeal, the kickers we saw had construction and quality of materials well done, with costs typically ranging from $79-$135.

Case in point---a gal can wear these best selling perforated pumps in- two heel heights - with practically every outfit in her wardrobe.

A multi-strap wedge, peep toe sling backs - with stud embellishments, flats with eyelet laden buckle strap, and multi-strap booties are out standouts.

Ballerinas to wear with leggings, tapered pants in cords/denim, minis or full skirts.

Importantly, customers get la vie d' DKNY without the price tag. And durable day to night peds too…nice to know with these terrific pumps---a style that’s just perfect with tailored looks (trousers, pencil skirts, dresses)...walk fearlessly, the heels will not snap off as long as one avoids those metal grids that render swaths of the sidewalks into forbidden zones.

FYI----DKNY is very popular in Western Europe, BTW---we know, we just got back---and would venture to say--- this hip DKNY entity is WAYYYYYY more popular across the POND than the signature label---- by far).

TREND ALERT---No spotted animal prints---BUT lots of snake prints.

INFO---starts shipping end of October 2010. Check the website for more details.