Karen Millen plans global footwear growth, links with Pentland

Karen Millen is gearing up for major international expansion in the footwear sector and has named Pentland Brands Limited as its global footwear license partner. 


Karen Millen


Karen Millen has sold shoes for many years but distribution has been limited until now. The fashion retailer said that the deal “will allow for new and exciting opportunities," taking its footwear ranges beyond its standalone stores and online channel “into multi-brand footwear environments and global department stores.”

And with a wider strategy to drive growth at the business via licensing deals, it’s good commercial sense to expand in one of the key areas that’s among the fashion industry’s major growth categories.

Family-owned Pentland Brands has a heritage in building international labels in the footwear category including Lacoste, Ted Baker, Kickers, KangaROOS, Ellesse, Boxfresh, SeaVees and Red or Dead.

The first of the new footwear collections is set to launch internationally, in-store and online, for the AW19 season. 

Karen Millen CEO Beth Butterwick said the deal will allow the brand to offer more styles, choice and availability and that Pentland has “a truly expert level of knowledge when it comes to footwear licensing and longstanding record of working with brands to build their global presence.”

Meanwhile, Pentland’s footwear division president Richard Newcombe said “there’s great potential for the [karen Millen] brand in the footwear category.”

The shoes move follows the launch earlier this year of Karen Millen’s licensing partnership with IMG to enter new lifestyle categories including swimwear, athleisure and lingerie.

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