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Steve Madden Buys Into 'Superluxury' With Brian Atwood

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Lena Dunham couldn't handle her Atwoods, via Getty
Lena Dunham couldn't handle her Atwoods, via Getty

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Steve Madden, shoe emporium, has purchased Brian Atwood, known for closer-to-God heel heights and luxury prices, from Jones Group Inc (The same company just killed Rachel Roy's designer line).

Steve Madden told WWD he's attracted to the brand because "Brian Atwood is a premier designer and he's also American, which I love, although everybody gets upset when I say that. When you go to the floors at Barneys, there aren't many American designers. Brian is a Midwest boy and he's brilliant. We like that." Also, "We're already in contemporary. Now we're in superluxury as well. We're excited to be in both businesses." Madden plans on "tripling [the $20 million brand] in the first year."

Atwood took to legalese to describe the deal. He says "I always had a buyback option in my contract. The main thing is that I have operational and creative control of my business in Milan. For B Brian Atwood, Steve and I will follow the guidelines outlined in our IP entity." In other words, he really doesn't want to end up on the list of designers her lost the rights to their eponymous brands.

In terms of what the deal means, you can expect possibly handbags and maybe a men's capsule collection. Since Atwood trained under Gianni Versace, the designer mentioned he's interested in creating apparel collection rounding out a full on lifestyle brand. He'll also be treated to a complete website makeover and eventually brick-and-mortar stores "as the market dictates."
· Steven Madden Teams to Buy Brian Atwood [WWD]
· 7 Smokin' Hot Guys Who Happen to Design Shoes [Racked]
· 7 Brian Atwood Bridal Shoes (Plus One Shoe Cookie!) To Ogle [Racked]