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Surprising designer/mass retailer collaboration news: Stacy Bendet Weiner will create footwear for Payless. Not familiar with Ms. Weiner? She's the woman behind Alice + Olivia, the brand known for flattering pants, sequined mini dresses and other chic separates. This will be her first go at a shoe line, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for Payless, who gambled and won on another lower-profile designer, Laura Poretzky of Abaeté, last year. So what can customers expect from the collection, which is set to hit Payless stores as well as Alice + Olivia boutiques next spring?
Alice + Olivia for Payless will retail for $20 to $30. Bendet hasn't begun designing yet, but foresees a mix of brightly colored platform sandals, flip-flops and ballet slippers to match her ready-to-wear collection. "Our customer is cool," said Bendet. "She'll buy a $600 beaded dress and wear it with flip-flops that create a unique look. For next spring, we're doing a funky, late-Sixties, early-Seventies look with bell-bottoms, high-waisted pants, tunics and fun dresses. It will be great to tie in shoes in some great colors and cool patent leathers."And now you know what hundreds of girls crowding to get into Dune come next summer will be wearing.
· Payless Teams With Alice + Olivia [WWD, subscription req.]