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The grand opening of the fashionable retail store, Nine West, that specializes in shoes and handbags for women, managed to say one thing for sure, ‘We are here, remember us?’

From the generous giveaways (I picked up the svelte Orra in Silver Metallic) to an in-store fashion show, to a chocolate fondue fountain, Nine West – in my mind – has come a long way since I was introduced to the brand whilst in the States. At the time, my aunt used to buy all her shoes from the store, making me associate it with an older generation of women. Not today though. The brand has managed to successfully position itself to appeal to the young and the fashionable. Nine West is currently sold in 60 countries with flagship stores in leading cities like New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Nine West, which in the UAE comes under the portfolio of The Apparel Group, offers the season’s most fashionable merchandise.

DIAF spoke with Ninive Giordano, Senior Vice President of Design and Product Development for the Nine West brand, who flew down from NYC. She arrived on the morning of the launch and was looking forward to spending the next few days discovering Dubai.

She wasn’t comfortable giving a video interview. Not to worry, we worked around her request. Excerpts from the interview:

DIAF: When I think of Nine West, my introduction to the brand was when I was in college in the States, I think women in their early thirties and / or forties would probably wear their shoes. Please comment.

Ninive Giordano: I think the Nine West customer is in her early twenties and surprisingly so, depending on what part of the world we are in, can even go up to her mid to late forties. Our concept is to bring fashion to everyone. We have a global presence and our consumer loves and appreciates fashion. She is very knowledgeable, she follows trends, she knows what the shifts in silhouettes are going to be in ready-to-wear and she knows that she needs the right shoes to accessorize it. She loves shoes and we love her!

DIAF: Why Dubai?

Ninive Giordano: Oh! Why not Dubai! It’s such an exciting place and I think we need to be here. I think anyone that has a global presence needs to be in Dubai. The Dubai Mall is breathtaking, the architecture is amazing. It is unbelievable, nothing like I had imagined.

DIAF: What would be your idea of an ‘ultimate statement-making pair of shoe?’

Ninive Giordano: (pauses) It’s difficult because we put out six collections in a year and the collections are anything form a 125 to a 150 styles. So, I am very attached to a lot of different shoes. I think ultimately, the ultimate statement shoe is a shoe that makes a woman feel special, creates an emotional response and that is what we aim to do every time we bring products into the marketplace and I hope we are successful in doing it.

One look at the Summer collection and you can tell it’s about bright colors, wedges and pumps in neons and nudes. I love the way the Trend Book of the S/S 2012 has the shoes neatly categorized (we know how women are when it comes to picking up…anything!) so that you get a feel of what your wardrobe really needs at the moment. There is ‘Over the Rainbow’, which are ‘brightly colored reptile prints’ over wedges, peep toes, flats and clutches.

‘Under the Sea’ has hues of blue from navy to sky in flip flops, pumps, accessories (bangles et al) clutches. Go check out the S/S 2012 collection at Nine West now! Nine West in Dubai is located at The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Bur Juman, just to name a few.

Thank you Nine West for hosting a memorable event and of course, the shoes!

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