Times fashion critic Booth Moore describes the new Jimmy Choo for H&M shoes -- which hit stores November 14 -- as “really good. $129 electric blue metallic leather cage heels; $129 gladiator-style studded leather platforms; $199 over-the-knee black leather boots -- so good, in fact, that they make you wonder why the real line has to be so expensive. There’s the “Made in China” versus “Made in Italy” thing. But that’s a difference you can’t see.”
Of course the Carrie Bradshaw-loved shoe empire is not the first high-end label to create a line of more affordable items. Here’s a look at some of the others. (Magnus Magnusson / H&M)
The “Queen of Knits” goes sexy Santa with a lingerie and accessories line for the winter 2009 holidays before returning to her roots with a women’s and girl’s knitwear collection for spring 2010.
This is, of course, old hat for H&M. Just last April, Matthew Williamson -- the haute hippie designer known for his bold colors and Rolodex of celebrity clients -- followed heavy hitters such as Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons into a collaboration with the Swedes.
Photo: Sonia Rykiel’s spring/summer 2010 ready-to-wear collection, showing on the Paris runways.(Patrick Kovarik / AFP / Getty Images)
Part of the retailers Designer Collaboration project (which started with Alexander McQueen’s spring 2009 collection), Sui’s 19 looks were inspired by the characters on The CWs “Gossip Girl.” They hit stores the day after the nighttime soap about privileged Manhattan teens returned for its third season in September.
The little-sister Jenny dresses were alternately bohemian and punky schoolgirl; Blair’s were high-collared, affixed with bows and lacy patterns; and Serena’s featured a palette of gray and black with surprisingly modest leather jackets, vests, riding crop pants and geometrically-patterned dresses. (Target)
Designers-of-the-moment Kate and Laura Mulleavy (whose gothic spring 2010 runway of “cobwebby dresses -- collages of burnt plaid cheesecloth, sandpapered silk, leather and lace -- and woven leather braid skirts and vests” was labeled a “marvel” by Times fashion critic Booth Moore) are also embracing the underwear-as-outwear notion seen on the spring 2010 runways for their 55-piece Target Go International collection, out in December. Photos of sheer fabrics, lace tights and bra tops have leaked to the Web.
Photo: Rodarte’s spring-summer 2010 runway during New York‘s fashion week.(Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times)
The fashion icon famous for gender-bending designs (see: Madonna’s cone bra in the ‘90s), will “pay tribute to the American woman, celebrating the forces of style both past and present in American pop culture,” according to Women’s Wear Daily, with his line for the affordable retailer. The third in Target’s Designer Collaboration series, it will hit select stores and Target.com in March.
Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring/summer 2010 runway show.(Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times)
The ultimate tween dream: The designer, who is celebrating 20 years of his BCBG label, teamed with pubescent powerhouse Miley Cyrus to launch (naturally) Miley Cyrus and Max Azria in Walmart stores. The tanks, sweaters, vests and other casual separates are all within the price range of those whose monthly income comes from an allowance or a Saturday baby-sitting stint.
Photo: Miley Cyrus, left, and Max Azria.(Walmart)
Street chic headed to the mall in August with Macy’s Rachel Rachel Roy collection of graffiti-print dresses, leggings and tees, and dresses accented with chains or studs -- with prices hovering around the $100 mark.
“The Rachel Rachel Roy collection is the younger sister to the Rachel Roy collection,” Roy says. “She’s a bit edgier, faster and quicker and finds creative freedom through clothing -- how not to look like everyone else.” (Rachel Roy)
The 70-piece Stella McCartney for Gap collection -- which went on sale Nov. 2 -- included “wardrobe elements that any mother of young ones would plead for: easy-care items, such as denim jeans (both skinny and flare-leg styles for girls), T-shirts, sweat pants and hoodies, mixed in with fun and fashionable pieces,” reports The Times’ Max Padilla.
“I think this collection has a mix of the playful and practical. It’s a reflection of my brand; there are pieces that are classic and very sort of timeless and hopefully very chic, and then there are pieces that are the kind you chuck in the washing machine and they get better with time and, you know, they are funny and hopefully a little bit cool,” McCartney said.
Filling the Gap: Along with McCartney, A-listers like Alexander Wang, Thakoon and Vena Cava’s Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai have lent their hand to the San Francisco-based mall favorite. (Gap)
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s affordable teen collection, Olsenboye, “follows the theme of an oversized-sunglasses-wearing globetrotter who gleans wardrobe ideas from young women in fashion capitals,” reports The Times’ Max Padilla.
The November 2009 pre-launch in select stores and online “features cropped blazers, jean leggings, oversized peace-sign graphic T-shirts, a striped waffle-knit thermal, hooded sweatshirts, bags and footwear,” adds Padilla. The full ensemble -- including shoes and handbags -- hits stores in February. (JCPenney)
Budget-minded and still love flowing, flowery dresses? Try Nicole Miller’s knockoffs of her own dresses and tops (as well as pants and handbags) at JC Penney.
The Lenox, Mass., designer joined Michele Bohbot’s Bisou Bisou on Penney’s racks in 2005. The company also sells lines from knockoff king Allen B. Schwartz (Allen B.) and Charlotte Ronson (I Heart Ronson).
Photo: nicole by Nicole Miller printed dress, $70(nicole by Nicole Miller at JCPenney)
The designer synonymous with wedding gowns showed a more work-centric look when Simply Vera Vera Wang came to discount department store Kohl’s in fall 2007. The label has also included bedding, shoes and accessories.
Other recognizable names in Kohl’s repertoire include Lauren Conrad and Dana Buchman.
Photo: Simply Vera Vera Wang gathered colorblock top, $44, Simply Vera Vera Wang skinny denim jeans, $50, Simply Vera Vera Wang ibis shoes, $79.99, Simply Vera Vera Wang ombre patent croc hobo handbag, $79, Simply Vera Vera Wang bangles (set of three), $28, Simply Vera Vera Wang beaded multicolor stretch bracelet, $24.(Kohl’s)
Considering his blister-inducing “bull-horn” shaped heels at his spring 2010 runway show in New York, the “Project Runway” prodigy’s Payless lines are much more middle-of-the-road with basic flats, heels and bags.
Lela Rose, alice + olivia and Abaeté also help the stores thin-walleted customers get their footing. And “Sex and the City’s” Patricia Field, who styles all the companys TV ads, lifestyle prints and store signage, designed a few capsule collections for Payless.
Photo: Model Lea Rannells before the sneak peek at Siriano’s spring 2010 runway collection at Payless ShoeSource during New York Fashion Week.(Donald Bowers / Getty Images for Payless ShoeSource)
For those who want to sparkle like the celebs without the burden of the stalkerazzi, there’s Mark Badgley and James Mischka’s American Glamour collection -- a line of (more) affordable apparel, accessories and jewelry launching on Nov. 17 on HSN.com, with prices ranging from $39 to $499.
Photo: American Glamour Badgley Mischka Hank Sequin Flats in black/silver, navy/silver and bronze/gold; $119 though HSN and HSN.com.(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for IMG)
The diva designer’s new show with QVC, “Isaac Mizrahi Live!,” hits airwaves in December with a collection of apparel, shoes, jewelry, handbags and home decor. Prices are estimated at $80 for shoes and $200 for handbags, a balance between his former Target line and high-brow Bergdorf Goodman one.
QVC also launched Viv by Vivienne Tam and Edition by Erin Fetherston during the September fashion shows in New York. (Getty Images for QVC)
Vintage Chuck Taylors got a modern makeover, reported The Times’ Melissa Magsaysay of the August 2009 collaboration. “Digging into the Converse archives, Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo resurrected a Chuck Taylor style originally made for the U.S. military in the 1950s and stamped it with her signature red heart-face” for Comme des Garcons Play for Converse Collection.
Even more heart-warming, Converse and United Bamboo just released the United Bamboo for Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists Chuck Taylor All Star shoe in white/red nylon or leather on unitedbamboo.com. Ten percent of the net wholesale price of the $129.95 shoe will go to the Global Fund help eliminate AIDS in Africa.
And what goes great with hearts? Zigzags, of course. The Missoni for Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes will be out in the spring.
Photo: Comme des Garcons PLAY for Converse, $100.(Converse)