Brazilian shoe and hangbag maker Carmen Steffans, is all the rave in Brazil, but has since taken a walk on the wild side, Hollywood that is, with the grand opening at the Hollywood & Highland Center of its very first West Coast Carmen Steffans boutique. Even though the brand has a Connecticut small location, this will be the first US flagship. The brand has been known around the world, especially in their native Brazil, but the brand is no stranger to celebs like Nikki Reed, Eva Longoria, Jordana Brewster, Rebecca Romijn and Maria Menounos.
According to Mark Willingham, the president of Carmen Steffens’ US operations, it was only a matter of time before the brand made its trail to Hollywood. Here’s what Willingham had to say about their decision to debut in L.A., “We believe that fashion-wise, it has a huge influence around the world. Our brand resonates very well in a place like Los Angeles. Our DNA comes from Brazil, we’re a Brazilian brand, and so warm climates are kind of in our blood and our designs are very reflective of that.”
“We’re really unique as a brand along those lines. We’re a vertical company so we own a leather tannery. It’s one of the largest leather tanneries in South America. We design everything in-house and we produce all of our products. We have about 2,500 employees at our headquarters in São Paulo and for every single collection we have about 2,500 SKUs, which is a really large number of products for a fashion brand. And we do that for the exact reason you just mentioned. We actually customize the buys for each store. We will very much tailor the products we bring into the store based upon the fashion sense here” said Willingham about the brand’s versatility.
Carmen Steffans prices range from $90 to $1,500, depending on the item. However, for a pair of shoes the average price is around $330. Mark Willingham jokingly elaborates on the cost of their merchandise, “So it’s within reach of most consumers. I would equate it to a Mercedes. You can buy a C series Mercedes or you can buy a $500,000 Mercedes and either way, you know you are getting a Mercedes.”
As for the future of Carmen Steffans, the president of US operations is very confident in their success. In fact, here’s what he said, “Yes. We have very aggressive outlook and strategy for the US market. We now have over 200 stores and we’re in 16 countries. And the US we consider to be a major market for our brand and we are looking very closely at a lot of cities, specifically Los Angeles, New York, the Miami area and Atlanta. So the answer is yes, very much so.”
So we can all look forward to more sexy styles and more stores to open from Carmen Steffans, but for now we can be assured to be pleased with all their luxury items.