The allure of Italian footwear lives on through new digital channels.
Following the footsteps of e-commerce startup brands like M. Gemi, Greats and Idoni, retail veteran Tamar Miller launched Bell & Becks, a direct-to-consumer luxury women’s shoe brand with accessible prices.
Bell & Becks wants to fill the void of wearable luxury shoes that can be worn all day for any occasion. By cutting out the wholesale mark-up that many big box retailers tack on, the company said it can sell footwear at prices nearly 40 percent less than designer brands offering the same level of quality and craftsmanship.
Prices span $185 for Mediterranean-inspired sandals, to $365 for ankle booties.
Prior to launching Bells & Becks, Miller served as head of digital merchandising for Banana Republic and Old Navy. She developed her footwear expertise with senior leadership roles in department and specialty stores, including Lord and Taylor, Macy’s and Piperlime.
“Most shoes sold in the U.S. are mass-produced, often resulting in style duplication and comparatively low quality,” Miller said. “What differentiates Bells & Becks is our production and the versatility that our collection provides.”
The “Made in Italy” collection is focused on versatile modern classics, including sleek leather and suede ankle-skimming boots, pointed toe slip-ons and mules.
Designs are kept minimal, with micro studding, polished gold heels and monochromatic tassels. Sky blue, pale pink and mustard colorways tap into Millennial-centric trends, while a core of basics like gray, navy, taupe, black and soft gold round out the collection.
Footwear for the brand is made by hand in small batches at artisanal factories in Italy with a long tradition in footwear, according to Bells & Becks. Materials used include Italian leather, and all componentry, from insoles and outsoles, to linings, are also made from leather.
Bells & Becks plans to follow-up its debut collection with a Fall ’18 range of ankle boots.