Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell serve as muses for Band of Gypsies’ new eponymous line of footwear. The contemporary bohemian women’s apparel brand is building on its success at retail with accounts like Bloomingdale’s, Asos and Urban Outfitters with its first-ever footwear collection debuting at FFANY, Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
The line is a collaboration with Chris Ryan’s Project Footwear, which aims to reconnect manufacturers with the marketplace and streamline the supply chain. “That’s the beauty of it,” said Ryan, who serves as the brand’s footwear line builder. “Band of Gypsies is already a great brand. As a line builder, it was great to collaborate with their designers because it has such a strong direction and identity. It wasn’t like we worked with a blank slate,” he explained.
In a difficult retail environment, Ryan says Band of Gypsies is an outlier. The apparel brand’s fluid silhouettes, dark florals, exotic prints and vintage-inspired details like tassels, crochet and embroidery strike the right chord with young women who want a strong and unique look. “We hit [the brand] at the right time,” Ryan said adding that the company had a successful 12 months with retailers like Nordstrom and Amazon. In fact, Ryan said Nordstrom already signed on to carry the footwear line.
Inspired by strong independent women like Joplin, Nicks and Mitchell, Ryan said the footwear line offers understandable silhouettes like slides, booties and heeled sandals with a novel twist. The brand adds its free-spirited personality to the collection through the use of plush fabrications like corduroy and velvet and rich textures like lace. “We try to be unique and a little different, but still very wearable and sellable,” he said. “Young women of today want to know that they are not dressing like anyone else and want to feel special without having to wear outrageous fashion.”
With retail prices spanning $69 for sandals to $120 for boots, Band of Gypsies plans to keep fashion accessible. “A lot of new brands are coming out in the $300 to $400 price range, but a lot of people cannot spend that much on a pair of shoes,” Ryan added. “Our mission is to make cool, fun casual fashion at a price point people can afford.”