Steve Madden Buys Fashion Footwear Brand Dolce Vita For $60 Million

Founders of the wallet-friendly shoemaker will retain control of product design

Dolce Vita, the brand beloved for its reasonably priced, fashion-friendly footwear, announced last week that it has sold itself to Steve Madden for $60.3 million in cash. The deal, subject to a working capital adjustment and an earn-out based on future performance, rounds out Dolce Vita’s product design strengths with Steve Madden’s retail and apparel capabilities.

"We are very proud of what we have built at Dolce Vita over the last 13 years, and we believe that Steve Madden is the perfect partner to help the brand reach its full potential," founders Van Lamprou and Nick Lucio said in a statement.

The acquisition is the latest in a flurry of Steve Madden deal activity. So far this year, the company has booked an intellectual property deal with luxury footwear designer Brian Atwood and a licensing partnership with women’s apparel maker Juicy Couture.

For Steve Madden, the deals represent an attempt to compensate for a lackluster start to the year, as uninspiring fashion trends and low consumer confidence contribute to put a damper on in-store sales. Dolce Vita has not published data on its historical income trends, but earned $111 million in net sales last year, roughly a tenth of the $1.3 billion in sales that Steve Madden net, according to company statements.

As for Dolce Vita, the existing management team will remain in place, operating four sub-brands: the higher-end Dolce Vita signature line of footwear, sold at select department stores; J.D. Fisk, the equivalent line for men; the moderately-priced DV by Dolce Vita; and the budget-conscious DV8.

[h/t Women’s Wear Daily]

[Photo: Flickr user Yuliya Nemova]

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