Nine West Becomes Publisher of All Things Shoes [VIDEO]

Nine West knows shoes, and it’s got the content to prove it.

This past August, the brand launched Channel 9, a website and video network on YouTube devoted everything about shoes. The company posts videos like Confessions, enlisting the help of its fans and celebrities such as Kelly Cutrone and Nigel Barker to tell their favorite shoe stories.

There’s also “You’ve Been Prom’d,” which features Cutrone giving “one deserving high school class an unforgettable prom makeover,” and “Shoe Fix,” which “takes the guessing out of DIY shoe repair” by showing women how to maintain their shoes. The channel has received more than 670,000 video views and more than 5,000 subscribers.

“Really for us this is about making a big play in the digital world but also being where we know our customers are,” said Debbie Woloshin, SVP of marketing at Nine West. “She’s living on YouTube and digesting video content. That’s where she learns and entertainers herself.”

She said: “Obviously, the goal is to continue to grow the audience, get engagement, get category experts to be participating and raise the level of conversation and exciting innovations within the category.”

In addition to the official site and YouTube page, the brand hosts a TwitterFacebookTumblr, and Pinterest. The demographic the brand is trying to reach is women between the ages of 18 and 34, said Woloshin, with “a sweet spot at 25 plus.”

Nine West is focusing primarily on YouTube, however, because it’s where its customers hang out.

“We are on YouTube because it’s where many more of our young demographic is, [and] we’re looking for engagement with women who love fashion,” said Michael Rourke, CEO of Hud:sun Media, which is collaborating with the company on the project. “We just felt like the channel, network, and engagement opportunities were larger on YouTube right now.”

The brand launched Channel 9 to capitalize on new campaigns, store openings, and the integration with New York City’s Fashion Week. At Fashion’s Night Out, Nine West gathered shoe confessionals from attendees.

“We had these three confessionals in the back of cars that were outfitted with Channel 9 [gear],” Rourke said. “They roamed the city and I couldn’t believe how many people wanted to give their confessions. Real world engagement on a digital property during Fashion’s Night Out was fun to see.”

To figure out what to produce, Hud:sun and Nine West came up with content that would be fitting for the demographic. “It’s a brand that really knows their demographic and what women who shop at Nine West are looking for and what they’re passionate about,” Rourke said.

Woloshin said, “We continue to get increases in subscribers and views. As we continue to roll out shows and see what’s resonating, we’ll be able to fine tune it and invite people in and see what’s resonating.”

Although the brand has made its own content in the past, including stop motion videos and blogs, Channel 9 is its first full-scale production. Rourke said that becoming a network was a significant step for the company.

“It’s important for Nine West and for every brand to get into the content business. Nine West is incredibly smart and forward thinking by placing themselves [in that position] because that is how you engage your consumers on a daily basis,” he said. “Almost every day a new piece of content is being released that is shareable, engaging, and reminds you that you love shoes.”

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