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CULTURE WATCH : Putting Some ZIP in Their Shoes

August 13, 1992|WILLIAM KISSEL

The folks at Elan Polo, a St. Louis-based footwear manufacturer, are hoping little girls are so enamored with Dylan, Brandon and Brenda of "Beverly Hills, 90210," that they will run, not walk, to their nearest discount store for a pair of sneakers sporting the trendy ZIP code.

The shoes, due at K mart, Wal-Mart and Target stores Sunday, come in almost 40 styles ranging from colored canvas sneakers to high-tops and are expected to be "value priced" at less than $16.

Mark Palermo, Elan Polo's director of marketing, expects a whimsical high-top with a see-through window to be the big seller: "It's going to appeal to the 6- to 8-year-old . . . that Barbie customer who is also a '90210' wanna-be."

"We found '90210' is the No. 1 rated show for girls ages 8 to 18, who are also the biggest buyers of '90210' labels such as T-shirts and jewelry," says Palermo. He says these same girls buy at least 10 pairs of shoes annually. The discount distribution channel was chosen because Elan Polo markets other brands, including Lightning Bolt and Gitano shoes, in those stores.

Palermo says don't bother looking for series stars Luke Perry (pictured below), Jason Priestley or Shannen Doherty to hawk the product or, even wear "90210" sneakers on the show. "They will wear these types of shoes but not with the '90210' logo." That, he says, "would be kind of out of character."

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