Charles David is one of the most recognizable brands in American fashion and has bridged the gap between fashion athletic and fashion-forward shoes and accessories. Charlie Malka was raised in Morocco and began his successful path in the shoe industry at the tender age of 13, when the boy worked for Bata, a Moroccan shoe chain. He then immigrated to Canada and joined forces with his partner and uncle named David. Combining the two names, the company was established in 1967.
The Charles David label made its impact years later when the designer moved to Los Angeles in 1987. He launched his first store on Melrose Avenue; the best place to shop in the 1980s. Closely located to some of the hottest boutiques of this time, including Betsey Johnson, Koala Blue and Las Habitudes, the fashion name quickly grew in popularity. The label was selling trendy boots and heels to affluent fashionistas and celebrities who gave Charles David the attention it deserved.
Since this time, the brand has become one of the most successful family-owned shoe brands and is a name synonymous with high-end shoe designs that are comfortable and chic. Today, 22 Charles David freestanding boutiques exist in the US and are featured in upscale areas. There are 500 specialty boutiques and department stores nationwide that sell shoes and accessories, and in the last few years, the brand launched two new lines: Charles by Charles David and Exchange by Charles David.
It is now a family company, which controls all parts of the brandís operations, including design, retail, advertising, marketing, public relations, operations and distributions. With the companyís rich history and family legacy, it is expected that the fashion brand will continue as a family-owned and run business. Charles remains the President and CEO of the company and keeps on the forefront of fashion trends in order to design comfortable, gorgeous shoes that complement womenís wardrobes. In fact, it is beauty, style and comfort that the label prides itself on and incorporates into every pair of sumptuous shoes.
Today, Charles plays a key role in designing new shoes with the help of his daughters, Joelle and Nathalie. He continues to look back at his early fashions and compare them with todayís creative inspirations. When the first store was opened off Melrose Avenue in the 1980s, there was no competition. Yet in todayís market, the price point for shoes has decreased and the competition has increased, which means the owner has had to be smart with both the marketing and design approach to his company.
One way that Charles has accomplished this goal is by using Italian manufacturers instead of Chinese companies. In order to bear the brand name, only the finest materials and manufacturing methods are used, and he feels that this craftsmanship is best obtained in Italy. He works with almost 10 different Italian factories, giving the label an advantage over other shoe companies who import their goods from China. Currently, Charles has produced 85% of his fall collection of shoes using Italian factories.
Shoes remain his only passion and he caters to both new and existing customers. His upscale Made in Italy collection features riding boots and oxfords in distressed leather selections. His global launching is already ahead of the game, as itís much anticipated and has additional shoes joining the collection. Even though Charles David is a label known for womenís shoes, the company will debut a menís collection in the coming months that include 20 different styles made in Italy. With this vision, the designer is bringing the Italian craft to all his customers, men included.
This man has a way of making women feel effortlessly stylish and sexy. Many of his shoes come at an affordable price point as well, making Charles David a label within reach. His current collections of shoes expand over the label and his Made in Italy lines, and heís also expanded his brand to include leather handbags. His items are made from gorgeous leather and taupe leather selections, and they sport a feminine name such as the Siena or Grayce.
The designer moves along with the fashion trends so his shoes can be an accompaniment for todayís modern styles. The focus of the brand is still heels, what Charles David is most known for. Sexy heels have always been a staple in every womanís shoe collection, but the height and overall construction of heels have changed. In todayís fashion market, women are more interested in modest heel heights and platform shoes, instead of exceedingly high heels. To meet this new demand, the fashion house offers an exclusive collection of trendsetting kitten heels and classic pumps. Other selections found within the Charles David collection include the fashion wedges, pinnacle sandals, gladiator shoes and evening sandals.
Leather and suede are the materials of choice, and each shoe is made especially comfortable with padded insoles and flex sole bottoms. With a broken-in feel and a brand-new look, the collections feature impeccable details and construction. Highlights include braided detailing, jewel embellishments, stud details and metal buttons that line the exterior of the designs. Sleek heels in different heights and widths make the shoes more or less dressy, while the contemporary designs keep consistent with todayís trends.
Not all of Charles David heels are intended for play. Many of the selections are perfect for the workplace; casting a sexy silhouette while keeping women in the role of confidante and business-orient. With closed-toe fronts and modest heels, these sandals slip on for comfort and remain the highlight of the outfit. Women can also enjoy richly crafted uppers and straight, stiletto heels that make each design undeniably chic.
Charles David will always be known for his gorgeous collection of kitten heels, pumps, evening sandals, wedges and boots that come at an affordable price. The designer has no desire to sell his business and instead hopes to keep it in his family, passing it down to his grandchildren who will carry on the legacy.