Point of De­par­ture

Celebrity fa­vorite Freda Sal­vador has gone bi­coastal to build a closer con­nec­tion to its con­sumers.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Nikara Johns

Why Freda Sal­vadore is mak­ing the move to N.Y.

Freda Sal­vador co-founders Me­gan Pa­pay and Cristina Paloma-Nel­son are ex­pand­ing their Cal­i­for­nia-based brand to a new set of con­sumers: New York­ers. The women’s la­bel, known for its hand­crafted, made-in-Spain footwear, opened a shop in New York’s Nolita neigh­bor­hood in Septem­ber. It also has branded bou­tiques in L.A. and San Fran­cisco, as well as whole­sale ac­counts and an e-com­merce site.

Pa­pay said the firm had good rea­son to en­ter the Big Ap­ple. “Cal­i­for­nia is our home, but we are see­ing so much in­ter­est from New York. I wanted to get it in there and fin­ish out the year re­ally strong, as fall is our strong­est sea­son,” she said.

While whole­sale has been part to the Freda Sal­vador busi­ness since its launch in 2012, the founders are fo­cused more on a di­rect-to-con­sumer ap­proach. “We were see­ing a dis­con­nect from our brand at mar­ket [and would] find our story wasn’t be­ing told,” Pa­pay said. “Now we are be­ing more strate­gic with whole­sale and part­ner­ing with those who are tak­ing the time to get to know us.” One ma­jor new ad­di­tion to its list of partners is Nord­strom.com.

When it comes to its core as­sort­ment of boots and loafers, Freda Sal­vador con­tin­ues to em­pha­size com­fort as part of its fun­da­men­tal DNA. “We re­ceived com­ment af­ter com­ment from con­sumers say­ing these were shoes that made them feel in­vin­ci­ble and con­fi­dent, and that’s how we de­signed them,” Pa­pay said.

The la­bel has gar­nered celebrity fans such as Gigi Ha­did and Kaia Ger­ber. But for hol­i­day ’18, Freda Sal­vador is spot­light­ing ev­ery­day women in a cam­paign star­ring the de­sign­ers’ friends and col­leagues. “It’s women sup­port­ing women, it’s in­clu­sive, and it’s the mes­sage that ev­ery­one is per­fect in ev­ery color, shape and size,” said Pa­pay.

For spring ’19, the co-founders will ex­plore new ter­ri­tory by in­tro­duc­ing more san­dals and es­padrilles, break­ing into a lower price of un­der $300.

Gigi Ha­did in Freda Sal­vador’s Lay mule

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