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Zazzle to power Keds Shoe Program
Aug '08
Keds and keds.com, a division of The Stride Rite Corporation, in partnership with Zazzle announced the launch of Keds Studio, an online customization program that offers consumers the ability to design the graphics for their own original Keds Champions, the classic lace-up and slip-on canvas styles.

The Keds Studio program, built and powered by Zazzle, offers consumers the unique ability to create original Keds designs by uploading their own artwork, graphics and text, onto the shoes instantly -- a first for the footwear industry. In addition consumers are able to choose from a wide selection of colors and even unique, pre-made designs, many of which are designed by such artists as Sarah Singh and Gen Art artists, among others. The customized shoes are produced within 24 to 48 hours, and will be received by consumers within one to two weeks, depending upon the shipping method selected.

“Since the launch of the Champion in 1916, consumers have been enhancing their Keds with their own personal style using markers, paints, pens and other creative tools,” said Gregg Ribatt, president and chief executive officer of The Stride Rite Corporation.

“This growing form of expression was the inspiration for Keds Studio. Through our relationship with Zazzle, we can now offer Keds customers the opportunity to bring an uninhibited range of design options and a more professional design aesthetic to this classic shoe. This initiative positions Keds at the forefront of the footwear industry with great innovation and leading-edge technology aimed at unleashing the individuality of the end consumer.”

Through Zazzle's innovative, patent-pending technology platform, the launch of Keds Studio marks the first time a fully customizable shoe featuring user-generated graphics has come to market. The company's technological competency is unique, having developed intuitive new tools that enable consumers to instantly experience the construction of the entire shoe, and allowing full design and color selection for almost every part of the shoe. This offering is the first-ever content application enabling consumers to upload their own designs, patterns, illustrations, images or full text onto the footwear they choose.

“We are incredibly excited to launch our footwear platform with Keds, a great iconic brand that actually invented the term 'sneaker,'” said Jeff Beaver, co-founder and chief product officer, Zazzle. “Zazzle's proprietary technologies, combined with the proliferation of user-generated content, is incredibly powerful. This event marks the beginning of a new era in customization, where products are built from scratch – literally – and embellished to the user's exact specification.”

At launch, Keds Studio will offer five styles of Keds' Champions for women and kids that are fully customizable. Styles include lace-ups, slip-ons and mini slip-ons.

Keds Studio will also offer limited-edition designs developed to provide consumers with creative inspiration, which will be featured and available for sale on the Keds.com and zazzle.com/custom/shoes sites. Artists and designers providing their own unique designs include: Lucky Magazine's Rebecca Babcock and artist Sarah Singh in conjunction with a promotion in the September issue of Lucky Magazine, as well as a number of emerging Gen Art artists, and Zazzle's community of designers. Each month a new designer or artist will be featured and consumers will have the opportunity to purchase these limited-edition designs, as well as create their own works of art, for shoe application.

In addition, Zazzle's platform will enable Keds Studio consumers now “turned designers,” as well as professional and amateur designers to sell their unique designs in the Zazzle “marketplace.” Zazzle's “Name Your Royalty” system enables these consumers to set the price of their shoe designs above the original price and earn the entire mark-up in profit.

Keds Corporation

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