Small Mat­ters

Les Petits Joueurs’ whim­si­cal hand­bags have be­come a street-style fa­vorite. So nat­u­rally, the com­pany is tak­ing the next step into shoes.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Stephanie Hirschmiller

Les Petits Joueurs is trans­lat­ing its hand­bag flair to footwear.

At the launch of their hand­bag brand, Les Petits Joueurs, in 2014, cre­ative direc­tor Maria Sole Cec­chi and her CEO brother, An­drea, were sur­prised by the re­sponse.

“When we showed our first col­lec­tion, there was a line out­side and bags fall­ing onto the floor. We had to call our friends to take or­ders,” re­called Cec­chi.

Fast-for­ward four years and the fledg­ling la­bel has in­tro­duced footwear into its reper­toire for spring ’19. But now they know what to ex­pect — and this launch went a lit­tle dif­fer­ently.

For its de­but shoe pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing Paris Fash­ion Week in Sep­tem­ber, the brand took over the en­tire Café Chic bar and restau­rant in the city’s rar­i­fied eighth ar­rondisse­ment and trans­formed it into LPJ House. Guests were in­vited for break­fast, lunch and din­ner, fol­lowed by an af­ter-party with live mu­sic from Miles Kane.

The first footwear line con­sists of 10 styles that take their cue from the Les Petits Joueurs bags, with their whim­si­cal geo­met­ric de­tail­ing, Swarovski crys­tals, beads and fring­ing. (The clue to the de­sign is the name, which trans­lates to “the lit­tle play­ers.”)

Sig­na­ture pieces in­clude high-heeled san­dals (the big­gest hit with buy­ers), pumps, disco flats and lunch-ap­pro­pri­ate closed-toe mules on a walk­a­ble 3.5-cen­time­ter heel — all fea­tur­ing mis­matched cir­cle and square shapes done in crys­tal.

“I’m so proud of the shoes,” said Cec­chi. “They’re chic, retro and glam­orous, and also rep­re­sent my love of sparkles and geo­met­ric shapes.” Re­tail prices for the shoes range from 390 to 650 eu­ros ($447 to $744).

The de­signer ex­plained that in­cor­po­rat­ing footwear into the lineup al­lows her to ex­press the brand’s iden­tity more com­pletely. Plus, Cec­chi fully ad­mits that she has a per­sonal weak­ness for shoes be­cause “they are more emo­tional than bags.”

Les Petits Joueurs footwear is pro­duced in a fac­tory just out­side Florence, Italy. Come spring, it will be avail­able at stores in­clud­ing Level Shoes, Luisa Via Roma and Har­vey Nichols.

Its bags are sold through roughly 200 ac­counts in­clud­ing Bergdorf Good­man, Saks Fifth Av­enue and Just One Eye in L.A., and Paris’ Ga­leries Lafayette is host­ing a pop-up un­til De­cem­ber.

Les Petits Joueurs cre­ative direc­tor Maria Sole Cec­chi

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