L.K. Bennett Toasts Collab with Bionda Castana at The Gramercy Park Hotel

by Paige Reddinger

L.K. Bennett, the British shoe, accessories, and ready-to-wear brand, has partnered with fellow British shoemaker Bionda Castana to create a limited-edition capsule collection for Spring/Summer 2016. It features six different styles in various color ways, from raspberry, navy blue, and pastel pink to cream, cornflower blue, and black. L.K. Bennett has collaborated in the past with celebrities and stylists like Caroline Issa, but this marks the first time they’ve teamed up with another shoe brand.

L.K. Bennett chief executive Robert Bensoussan (formerly of Jimmy Choo) and Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman of Bionda Castana crossed the pond to host a chic dinner at The Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop with guests like Harley Viera-Newton and Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor. Bensoussan first met Barbieri and Portman at an event at one of L.K. Bennett’s stores in London and the trio kept in touch for the past two years until the collaboration naturally unfolded. “It was very simple; I begged them and they said yes,” joked Bensoussan. “When you are a vertical retailer, you have a tendency to only look at your belly button. The whole day you look at yourself, your business, your stores, etc. and collaborations are one of the ways we bring in influences from outside and bring in new ideas to our design team.”

Barbieri and Portman felt that the collaboration was natural because of the similarities in the brands’ aesthetics. “We work a lot with transparency, lacing, graphic prints, and mesh,” said Barbieri. “Subsequently, there are elements of that already in the L.K. Bennett collection, so we kind of really embraced that to create something new. It wasn’t a repeat of what anyone has done before.”

The collection ranges from $475 to $595 and will be sold in select global locations as well as online in the U.K., USA, France, and Spain starting February 10.

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