Designer News. Why Pay More For Christian Siriano When You Can Payless?

December 1, 2008 • Fashion

Say it isn’t so! Project Runway winner and fan favorite Christian Siriano has sold out. He has favored mass-fashion over high-fashion! That’s not so fierce!

According to the New York Post, Siriano has just cut a deal with Payless ShoeSource to distribute a line of low-price shoes and handbags at the discount footwear chain next fall. (This should compliment his clothing well, don’t you think? Not!) Seriously? Everytime I try to go into that place (to check out Abaete & Patricia Field’s collections) my nose starts to burn from the smell of plastic and chemicals and I have to run out.

"I want everybody to have a piece of my brand," Siriano said on the prospect of being seen as selling out so early in his career. While his first fashion show at Bryant Park in September was well-received, the economic meltdown has kept retailers cautious. His biggest customer is Intermix, a small chain of trendy boutiques.

It’s unusual for an upstart designer to cut a deal with a mass-market retailer. Designers must typically work their way up through the pricier end of the market, starting out with small collections at boutiques. Having carved out a niche at luxe destinations like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, few get the chance to head downmarket for big money at chains like Macy’s and JC Penney. Hopefully this move will open more doors for Sirano.

"I have a pretty huge fan base, not to toot my own horn," Siriano said. "But a lot of those are ‘Project Runway’ watchers and they’re young. They’re in school and aspiring to be artistic and they can’t afford my clothes."

Siriano’s Payless line, which will debut at New York Fashion Week in February, will be sold at about 400 (about one-tenth) of Payless stores across the US.

Soruce & Photo: NYPost

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