Nine West Unifies Brand Extensions

In-house Print Effort Promotes Shoemaker’s Apparel, Accessories
BOSTON–Nine West Group last week unveiled a fall fashion campaign that includes print, outdoor and transit ads.
Best known for its line of women’s shoes, the company has in the past two years launched a series of brand extensions that began with handbags and now includes sunglasses, hosiery, jewelry and apparel.
“The campaign brings the entire brand together for consumers,” said Stacy Lastrina, vice president of marketing at Nine West in Stamford, Conn. Lastrina manages all the campaign’s elements, from hang tags and window displays to advertising and a Web site, “so the consumer gets one powerful message” without the aid of an outside agency, she said.
Photographed by Michele Comte, whose work appears in American, Italian and German issues of Vogue and Vanity Fair, the black-and-white campaign was shot on location at Big Sur Park in Carmel, Calif. The ads feature models Elsa Benitez and Bertheil Espegren, who appeared in Nine West’s spring campaign shot by Herb Ritts on ranches out West.
For the fall effort, however, Nine West has adopted a moodier, more romantic attitude. Benitez is “very beautiful but very real,” said Lastrina. “Her makeup and hair are very natural looking. It’s meant to be aspirational.”
Twelve-page inserts will run in the September and October issues of Vogue and Elle. In addition, double-page spreads will be adapted to other publications, including Instyle, Marie Claire and Glamour. Nine West will also place ads in Shuz, a magazine that will launch this fall and be devoted to shoes. Outdoor and transit executions will appear in the New York metropolitan area. Spending was not disclosed.
Nine West customers are predominately college educated, have an above-average salary and are 25-40 years old, “but we believe the demos only go so far,” Lastrina said. “We look at certain things in a lifestyle that transcend age . . . Fashion plays a key role in the life of our customer, who is current on entertainment and movies and very topical . . . She is a valued consumer. She cares about how she looks.”
Nine West, which sells its products in department stores and its 300 outlets, is redesigning its shoe stores to incorporate the brand extensions. So far, five of the company’s top locations have been refurbished and reopened.
Nine West is also transforming its communications-oriented Web site into a transaction-based service, adapting its catalog for online sales.