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Stuart Weitzman positions itself as Coachella staple to reach younger audience

U.S. footwear label Stuart Weitzman is targeting music festival attendees with digital content informing consumers that the brand carries the ideal footwear for Coachella.

Through an email, ecommerce feature and social media posts, Stuart Weitzman placed its shoes in the front of consumers as they shopped for fashionable festival attire. Stuart Weitzman is most known for its pumps and dress shoes, so this gives the brand the opportunity to highlight its more casual styles.

“Coachella is known for its headliner musical performances in multiple genres while also making it accessible to emerging artists, featuring art installations and sculptures,” said Andrew Kelly, director of market development at Baesman, Columbus, OH.

“Stuart Weitzman as a brand is young, tasteful and aspirational,” he said. “His international following can be attributed to his use of unique materials in his shoes and his attention to details, and I think that reflects the Coachella crowd very well.”

Mr. Kelly is not affiliated with Stuart Weitzman but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Stuart Weitzman was unable to comment before press deadline.

Festival of fashion On April 7, Stuart Weitzman asked its Twitter followers to pick between two lace up gladiator styles, asking which consumers would choose for Coachella. This post included a link to an edited ecommerce selection of sandals, boots, espadrilles and cross body bags in neutral colors the brand deemed appropriate for the festival.

Tweet  from Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman sent out an email the Tuesday before the first weekend of Coachella to introduce consumers to its “Festival fashion essentials.” In the body of the email was an image of the brand’s Caesar gladiator sandal in black, white and snakeskin print.

A “shop now” button takes consumers to the same ecommerce edit.

The same day, Stuart Weitzman posted an image from blogger Peace Love Shea’s feature on Coachella dressing, in which she wears the brand’s Aphrodite gladiator sandal. In this post, the brand linked directly to the product so consumers could easily find it to shop.

As the festival neared, Stuart Weitzman created a dedicated Pinterest board for festival fashion inspiration.

In addition to showcasing some of the styles the brand included in its Coachella ecommerce page, the board shows images of women styled that it found from blogs or editorials. The board includes an image of model Kate Moss, the current face of the brand.

By featuring more than its own products, Stuart Weitzman is able to prove its fashion savvy goes further than shoes.

Stuart Weitzman is not the only footwear brand to focus on Coachella dressing. Kurt Geiger showcased its neon braided sandals, but limited it to one post.

Michael Kors did a special version of its “What’s in your Kors?” blog post for a music festival, which included a red cross body bag, aviator sunglasses and crocodile sandals.

Varied approach Stuart Weitzman has a wide range of styles, which was shown through its capsule collection with Harper’s Bazaar.

The four styles available were co-designed by Stuart Weitzman and the fashion editors, the first capsule collection created specifically for ShopBazaar, the ecommerce site of the fashion magazine. By partnering with Harper’s Bazaar, the brand is able to reach fashion-conscious readers who look to the same editors for fashion advice (see story).

Usually the brand homes in on one particular style of shoe for its digital efforts.

For instance, Stuart Weitzman offered consumers the option to customize their own version of the pump sandal often seen on celebrities at red carpet events timed to synchronize with awards season buzz.

From Feb. 12 to March 12, consumers could create their own version of the brand’s “Nudist” pump, choosing their own colors and heel height. This interactive shopping experience engaged both consumers and aspirational fans of the brand, who probably played with the design program on Stuart Weitzman’s Web site (see story).

Aligning itself with Coachella gives Stuart Weitzman a potentially large audience.

“Coachella is one of the most popular and most famous festivals in the United States,” Mr. Kelly said. “The strategy, I believe, is symbiotic: for Stuart Weitzman to have aligned his brand with the Coachella festival will not only benefit his higher end shoe brand, but also lend a level of chicness to the festival itself, as well as promote it.

“In 2013, Coachella had an estimated attendance of 225,000 people per weekend,” he said. “That’s a lot of shoes and a whole lot of accessories.”

Final Take:
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York