New York-based sneaker brand UES (Upper Echelon Shoes) and Steve Madden have entered an official partnership and are preparing to unveil their first joint effort with UES’ Fall ’10 collection. Each party will have an even stake in the venture, with UES designer Seth Campbell helming the brand’s design while Madden aids in its expansion, production and distribution.
Launching UES in 2005, Campbell brought a unique concept to the fashion/accessory market with his line of fashion-forward casual footwear. He first gained attention with his introductory line of “shoewelry,” a collection that fused hardware jewelry embellishments with comfortable sneakers. Since then, UES has remained ahead, be it through material, style or color. The brand has experienced tremendous success in the upper-tier market, spanning some of fashion’s most reputable storefronts including Kitson, Alice + Olivia, Hirshliefers and Blue & Cream. UES has also expanded its reach by tapping into international markets at Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, Browns Focus in London and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai.
“UES has positioned itself as a pioneer in the sneaker industry and Steve has long since established his dominance in other areas of footwear,” states Campbell. “With the sharing of resources and ideas, the potential for this partnership is truly limitless.”
“We want to be a part of cool things, and not everything has to be about our brand,” says Madden. “We’re now in the fortunate position of being able to take more of a nurturing role in things other than Steve Madden.”
The fall line will showcase several new men’s and women’s styles and an overall expansion of UES’ collection. Included in their first joint effort will be a new collection of motorcycle-inspired combat boots. With thick, authentic soles and soft, plush tongues this line is equal parts rugged and delicate. UES reports that the fall line and future collections will be priced competitively to grow department store business, but maintain the luxury appeal, high quality design and integrity.