In 1978, Jerome Fisher and Vince Camuto founded the Fisher Camuto Coproration--a wholesale shoe business for women. The brand's headquarters was located at 9 W. 57th St. in New York, so the duo decided to call their line of retail stores Nine West. The company's first shoe boutique opened in Stamford, CT, in 1983. Within just a few years, Nine West was doing so well that it began to advertise nationally. In 1988, the company restructured itself under the name Jervin, Inc., and in 1991, it was renamed Nine West Group, Inc.
Nine West began trading publicly in 1993 and went international with its first store in Hong Kong a year later. Quick growth continued until 1997, when the company was the subject of a financial scandal. The business began to flounder and was acquired by Jones Apparel Group in 1999. Since then, the brand has continued to face a series of obstacles, and it has closed the majority of its stores over the last decade. Today, the company still has about 40 retail locations, but it also maintains global distribution operations in more than 75 countries. Jones New York was bought by Sycamore Partners in 2013, and the parent company was renamed Nine West Holdings.
Since it was founded, Nine West has focused primarily on fashionable, chic, and sexy shoes for all occasions. In heels, the brand has pumps, stilettos, strappy sandals, slingbacks, peep toes, wedges, and platforms. Flats include ballet flats, loafers, and oxfords. Nine West sneakers exude casual sophistication, and they are available in high-top, lace-up, and slip-on varieties. Boots and booties are two of the brand's most popular categories. Specific styles include riding boots, tall boots, flat boots, dress boots, and over-the-knee boots. Booties are available in ankle, moto, flat, wedge, platform, and dressy designs. Women with larger legs can find many of the top styles in wide calf sizes, and many of the brand's boots are also designed to stretch.
Beyond shoes, Nine West also manufactures several different types of accessories for women. You can find scarves, mufflers, and neck warmers, as well as fashionable newsgirl and rancher hats. Beanies and thick socks are also available for particularly cold weather. The brand's handbags can be found in a number of different sizes, including totes, satchels, hobo bags, crossbody bags, and clutches. You can also choose among wristlets, wallets, and cardholders. Nine West continues to stay at the forefront of fashion developments, and it ranks the most popular trends on its N.I.N.E. list of must-haves.
Nine West has certainly faced its fair share of challenges over the last several decades, but they almost all relate to mismanagement as opposed to any problems with the brand's merchandise. Today, the company that once had outposts in nearly every shopping mall across the country is much more sparsely represented. For those living outside of major fashion centers, the only way to get new Nine West shoes is by shopping online--and buying via consignment can be a great way to score a good deal. The brand's shoes are a little pricey when they are bought new, but they are also made from high-quality materials and built to last. We give Nine West 4 stars out of 5.