PARIS — French shoe brand Nodaleto is teaming up with Marc Jacobs’ streetwear line Heaven on a capsule collection of ’90s-inspired shoes and boots that will go on sale on Sept. 20.
The launch marks the two-and-a-half-year-old brand’s first collaboration with a ready-to-wear label, and was teased on Friday with a cheeky image of the shoes glimpsed through the gap at the bottom of a toilet door, as part of a campaign by photographer Hugo Comte shot in a French high school.
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“This is obviously a dream come true,” said Nodaleto founder and designer Julia Toledano, describing Heaven as a “unique” brand. “It’s very pop. We’re alike in the sense that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and that’s why we were really able to have fun on this project.”
Courtesy of Nodaleto
The capsule collection, titled Playground Love, aims to tap into the teenage obsession with chunky shoes, with mary janes retailing for $360, around half of Nodaleto’s average selling price. A sportier version of the brand’s signature chunky-heeled Bulla Babies shoe, they are available in three colorways: black, tartan and pink metallic leather.
There is also a pair of boots, available in black or yellow, priced at $490. The shoes will go on sale online on the Marc Jacobs and Nodaleto websites, in addition to Marc Jacobs stores in Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and Paris.
Olivier Leone, cofounder and art director of Nodaleto, said the brand was preparing to move into a more mature direction, starting with its winter 2022 collection, but wanted to stay true to its playful identity with collaborations aimed at younger customers.
“This is a good test. We want to see the reaction, as we are considering whether to launch a secondary line, or introducing certain dedicated styles into the collection,” he said, adding that Nodaleto will also be branching out into accessories.
“In terms of our brand positioning, we could not have dreamed of a better collaboration, because Marc Jacobs was a defining designer of the 1990s and 2000s, and he revolutionized luxury,” Leone added.
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Ava Nirui, creative director of Heaven by Marc Jacobs, said she was introduced to the brand by stylist Clare Byrne, and fell in love with its retro-inspired heels. When she contacted the label, it turned out Toledano and Leone had been talking about a potential project with Heaven, too.
“They showed us the screenshots where they were sending Heaven-related texts to each other, and it felt like the stars were aligning. The process of working with Julia and Olivier was so seamless, as our perspectives and approaches to design and marketing are so similar,” Nirui said.
“Nodaleto and Heaven are both very much rooted in ‘90s nostalgia, and have a youth-centric and romantic feel about them. The colors and shapes of the Nodaleto shoes are exactly what I imagine the Heaven person styling their clothing with. Marc has also historically utilized distinctive shapes in his heels, so we wanted to take that and reimagine it for Heaven,” she added.
Launched in September 2020, Heaven takes inspiration from the DIY spirit of Kim Gordon’s cult X Girl label and Sofia Coppola’s Milkfed at a time when kids are all about ’90s style. The label’s back-to-school offering also includes a collaboration with Dr. Martens, which launched earlier this month.
Toledano said she designed her shoes to be worn by teens who are uncomfortable with heels. “It’s the classic shoe from our childhood, but with much more modern lines,” she said.
She reported that despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Nodaleto doubled its revenues in 2020, with online sales accounting for 20 percent to 30 percent of turnover. It now has more than 50 wholesale accounts, including a corner at the Printemps flagship in Paris.
Jacobs, who has been showcasing his gender-fluid outfits on Instagram, was an early fan, sporting a pair of Bulla shoes. “I hope he also wears these ones,” Toledano said.