kathy ireland Worldwide partners with The RFA Group as
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — kathy ireland Worldwide is collaborating with The Royal Footwear & Accessories (The RFA Group) as their Chief Designer, as well as launching her own kathy ireland line of Footwear with the company. As newly appointed Chief Designer, Kathy is committed to bringing chic and affordable footwear to everyday life. The expected launch of the kathy ireland royal foot wear line is set for spring of 2015 and will include a full line of footwear categories.
The brand will emphasize fashion for today’s women and their families. Dynamic trends will meet vibrantly inspired fashions from around the world to make up the collection. The brand will focus on fun colors, interesting textures and unique ornamentation; yet always keeping the needs of today’s women in mind. Key elements will include comfortable constructions, soft footbeds, flex insoles with lightweight outsoles that will incorporate traction technology throughout the footwear brand. Kathy’s unique designs will showcase effortless style for the women who love affordable fashion.
“We are extremely happy and proud to welcome Kathy as the Chief Designer for The RFA Group, with her vivid designs for both the company and her own line,” said Director of Sales, Eddie Spigel. “The collaboration with kiWW represents a huge opportunity for The RFA Group to become part of a company with enormous success.”
“Our new relationship with The RFA Group is an exciting extension for our fashion assortment. The agreement began at the License Global Expo. The RFA Group is an extraordinary company, with incredible leadership, design innovation and commitment to excellence in everything we bring to market. It is a great privilege to serve as Chief Designer for this amazing company. The RFA Group offers an assortment of classic and contemporary styling. Our private label programs deliver extraordinary margins and our designer collections are unique, individual and competitive. One of our many collections include leading fashion icon, Isaac Mizrahi… truly spectacular. My own line, kathy ireland by The RFA Group will launch in Spring 2015, we are working diligently to bring exquisite footwear to our customers,” said Kathy Ireland, CEO and Chief Designer of kathy ireland Worldwide.
About The RFA Group
A Global leader in the footwear industry, The RFA Group is dedicated to designing, producing and marketing quality branded and private label footwear. Family owned and operated, The RFA Group maintains it success by always looking towards future goals. Our dedicated team of employees ensure that our clients’ needs are exceeded through creative design, diverse collections, intricate detailing and fast delivery.
Our product lines offer styles for every age group. Each line is designed with the purpose, to provide quality fashion at reasonable prices. Our products can be purchased at many of the largest retailers in the United States and worldwide. We are continually striving to maintain excellence by constantly innovating our industry, regardless of the market forces we maintain on time and hassle-free execution of all customer orders.
About kathy ireland Worldwide(R) (kiWW)
Founded in 1993, the kathy ireland Worldwide(R) brand, celebrates a lifestyle. The missions of “…finding solutions for families, especially busy moms,” “…finding solutions for people in love,” and “…finding solutions for business people,” translates to all kiWW collections, including: fashion, fine jewelry, intimate apparel, accessories, weddings, home, office and more.
kiWW’s unique capability to design and translate fashion trends for all markets and price points allows it to develop product for a wide variety of customer tastes.
Listed as the 28(th) most powerful brand globally by License Global Magazine, with annual merchandise sales of $2 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, the success of kathy ireland Worldwide is the result of teamwork and dedication. According to Fairchild Publication, Kathy Ireland is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion.
Kathy and kiWW support many non-profits including; YWCA, Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEFK, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
As a powerful advocate for Israel, Kathy has spoken out for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, with global leaders, including, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama. Kathy is a member of WIZO, and is honored by the ADL and the JNF.
Kathy Ireland Enters the shoe business
with a new line from Royal Footwear &
Accessories for spring ’15.
At age 4, she started selling “fashion rocks” with painted designs on them, and by age 7, she was crafting jewelry and handbags to sell at art fairs. Years later as internationally known model, Ireland made the record books for appearing inSports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue 13 consecutive times in the 1980s and ’90s. In 1993, she founded design and marketing firm Kathy Ireland Worldwide and has had a hand in several apparel, jewelry and home collections. So launching footwear is a natural progression.
“The dream of design has always been there [for me]. When I started as a model, I always knew I was supposed to be on the other side of the lens,” said Ireland. “We worked with names likeVera Wang, Fendi and Elizabeth Taylor. It caused me to look at everything, from fashion tobusiness, with a new set of eyes.”
Now Ireland’s vision will materialize into a namesake footwear line, with a soft launch for fall ’14 and a full unveiling for spring ’15. The debut is part of a licensing deal with Royal Footwear & Accessories, for which Ireland was recently appointed chief designer. (The position includes overseeing design for other RFA licenses, including footwear for 385 Fifth and slippers for Isaac Mizrahi.)
“We’ve been trading inspiration back and forth, and I love working with the group,” Ireland said of RFA. “We pull some 24/7 weeks, but it keeps things interesting and us on our toes.”
As for her own shoes, Ireland said, “Our brand aesthetic is casual elegance, Hollywood chic and coastal Americana. Our designs are focusing on serving women in every area of their lives.”
The styles, priced from $50 to $150, will include both flexible insoles and lightweight outsoles. The soft launch will feature earthy colors and embossed details on boots, moccasins and slippers. For spring ’15, the collection will introduce sandals and dress styles.
Here, Ireland talks candidly about the value of a name and finding her shoe mentor in Mizrahi.
How has your background in fashion and design prepped you for this venture?
KI: In many ways. I spent years wearing shoes that were so extremely painful. I remember doing a photo shoot for Harpers Bazaar and taking a slip while running in heels. It has to be fashion first, but also having comfort that is ergonomically correct. We’re working on bringing fresh patterns, fabrics and colors, and using faux croc and kangaroo.
KI: It’s such a beautiful mosaic, how it all comes together. We were on a design trip in Europe— to Florence, Italy, and Rome. We were looking at palace textures and visiting museums. We listen to our customers about bringing fashion and comfort. Our message is to look and feel great. The most exciting [part] is when a woman slips on a shoe and you see her face light up. She loves the way it looks and realizes it feels good, too.
Your brand is named for you. Will the celebrity connection play an important role at the outset?KI: Branding looks a lot like Hollywood, and there are some who look at our brand as a celebrity endorsement. Celebrity endorsements can work great, but that’s not what it’s about. Our brand is not about me; it’s about our customer. We have worked very hard to earn the trust of our customer. We have 42 team members, and every choice we make is [collaborative].What has been your biggest lesson in designing shoes?KI: I love every element of it, but sometimes I get impatient and I want it done now. There are processes, though, and it’s important that we do it correctly. Still, I’m reminded by our team how quickly we’re moving. From conception, a team member will take my sketch and refine it. We take our design trips and we’re bringing these wonderful raw materials to the finished products. I’m working on patience.Who are your mentors in the footwear industry?
KI: Isaac [Mizrahi] is somebody I’ve known over the years, and he is amazing. When he and I get together, it has always been about shoes. It’s the first thing he notices when I walk in the room. He’s got such an eye. He is a man who truly loves and cares about women, and he puts himself in her shoes, literally. His excitement and passion are contagious.