The history of the Bandolino brand of shoes and apparel is more than a little convoluted, as it has been involved in many mergers and acquisitions throughout the years. The brand was first introduced in 1960 by Marx and Newman Co.--a New York-based manufacturer and importer. Just a few years later, Marx and Newman was acquired by the U.S. Shoe Corporation. Under new ownership, the brand began manufacturing shoes that were sold by high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus.
As U.S. Shoe began to flounder toward the end of the 20th century, it tried and failed to offload its shoe division to private investors several times. Finally, a deal was reached that would involve the bulk of U.S. Shoe being acquired by the Italian company Luxottica. In spite of the merger, the shoe sector of U.S. Shoe was separately sold to Nine West Group, Inc., in 1995. Just a few years later, Nine West was acquired by the Jones Apparel Group (later known as The Jones Group). Under that ownership, the Bandolino apparel line was launched in 2002. Finally, in 2014, Sycamore Partners bought out The Jones Group and renamed the company as Nine West Holdings. Currently, Bandolino shoes and apparel are both manufactured by this parent company and are distributed through a number of major retail outlets.
Shoes continue to be the hallmark of Bandolino's women's collection, and they are available in a number of different styles. Heels include pumps and wedges that range from muted work shoes to more extravagant shoes for special occasions. Colors, patterns, and design elements like straps or peep toes set these shoes apart from one another. Sandals are available in flip-flops, wedges, and heels, and you can find options that are either casual or formal. Ballet flats and slip-on flats are designed to emphasize comfort while still acting as stylish accessories for practically any outfit. Boots include riding boots, flat boots, and booties. Other popular types of shoes from Bandolino include loafers, mules, slides, and more.
Beyond shoes, the selection of apparel from Bandolino is relatively limited, but it still includes some popular options. Capris and shorts are designed to be comfortable and affordable, while jeans are available in a few classic fits. Tops include blouses and tees with intricate adornments, and you'll also find light jackets that meld functionality with style. The brand's selection of handbags includes mostly basic styles that will easily match your clothes.
Bandolino has consistently evolved as a brand over the last several decades in spite of never having consistent ownership behind it. Even as the brand changed hands several times, it never wavered from the quality of its designs or its commitment to style. Today, the shoes available under the label echo the latest fashions, but they do so at a fraction of the price demanded by other popular brands. Because Bandolino shoes are much more accessible to most women than luxury manufacturers, the brand provides an outlet for average consumers to get trendy shoes more easily. The company hasn't focused as much energy on the development of its clothing line over the last decade as it did when apparel was first introduced, but many of the garments available from Bandolino are designed to be timeless, comfortable, and affordable. We give Bandolino 4 stars out of 5.