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Cole Haan and Rodarte Merge Performance With High Fashion in New Footwear Collection

A month after releasing a new line of footwear and accessories for women, Grand Ambition, Cole Haan has partnered with independent high fashion house, Rodarte, to produce a pair of capsules intent on promoting both innovation and disruption in the world of women’s footwear and accessories.

In August, Cole Haan called Grand Ambition a “revolutionary” collection of footwear that promised to offer “unprecedented style, comfort and versatility” thanks to the brand’s GRANDFØAM footbed. To help produce the footwear technology, Cole Haan collaborated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Biomechanics Laboratory to help produce the anatomically molded footbeds and contoured uppers that define Grand Ambition.

Now, Cole Haan is partnering with Rodarte and its founders, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, to add a dose of high fashion to the new collection and continue to innovate in the world of traditional, high-fashion footwear for women.

“We wanted to collaborate with Cole Haan because they are such an innovative company that really values the same things we do in terms of design and pushing the boundaries of what is expected in the landscape of fashion,” Laura Mulleavy said in a statement. “We were really impressed by the level of innovation that Cole Haan infuses into their product in order to deliver unparalleled comfort.”

kate and laura mulleavy with Cole Haan for Grand Ambition women's wear collection
Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the founders and designers behind Rodarte Cole Haan x Rodarte

The first portion of the Cole Haan x Rodarte collection will include booties, “shoeties,” pumps and slip-on sneakers along with an assortment of designer bags to pair with the capsule’s silhouettes. The palette for the collection references much of the California cool Rodarte is known for, and features “pops of True Red, Bubblegum Pink, Optic White and Black” while incorporating mixed materials, including embossed croc leather, neoprene and lace.

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“When Cole Haan set out to create this revolutionary women’s collection, we knew we had to partner with Rodarte,” David Maddocks, Cole Haan’s chief marketing officer and general manager of business development, explained. “Kate and Laura’s independent spirit is singular in the world of fashion. In their capable hands, Cole Haan and Rodarte, together, have delivered an alchemy that blends beauty and engineering in a way that hasn’t been achieved before.”

Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to modern apparel and footwear, which has fueled the rise of sneakers and other styles that place wearability at the forefront.

With the Grand Ambition collection and its collaboration with Rodarte, Cole Haan looks to pair comfort and fashion for women’s footwear in a way that fulfills the collection’s “revolutionary” name and billing.

“The ethos of Cole Haan speaks to everything that we do,” Kate Mulleavy added. “When you’re designing it’s always about innovating and trying to think outside the box to create something new and create a dream that you take people into.”

The September Cole Haan x Rodarte capsule is available now through Cole Haan’s website and retail channels. In November, another capsule will release with a more “romantic and soft” palette, complete with perforated hearts on each silhouette to reflect the upcoming holiday season.