The big American footwear group is trying a comeback on the European market after a short-lived experience with the French Royer Group a few years ago. It has signed a 4-year distribution deal for the UK and Ireland with OPS, a British company that is developing a branded division. OPS will show five of Steven Madden’s lines at the MICAM fair in Milan later this month, but it could not be determined whether the U.S. company already has distributors or agents in other parts of Europe.
OPS will also show its own brand, Last, in a different hall of the Milan fair, after presenting it at Bread & Butter in Barcelona, Pure in London and MIDEC in Paris. Launched for the first time one year ago, the brand already has distributors and agents in Italy (ASAP), France (Wood Company) and in the Benelux countries (M Promotions). It is in discussions with potential partners in Germany and in the Scandinavian countries.
OPS, which stands for Offshore Procurement Services, is a company that has been sourcing footwear for private label out of Camden, in North London. Its Last brand, which has nothing to do with the New Zealand shoe brand by the same name, is registered worldwide. Already sold at major retail locations in the UK including Selfridges and Jones Bootmaker, it is made in Thailand and in other countries. The line comprises hand-stitched and Goodyear welted models for men and women featuring an EVA insole.