W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.
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INDUSTRY NEWS Say Howdy to the Magniﬁcent Seven Seven new top-drawer licensees join Justin Brands' longtime partners, Milano Hats and Leegin Leather, to extend presence, increase products I MPECCABLE QUALITY. UNRIVALED DURABILITY. SUPREME CRAFTSMANSHIP. SINCE 1879, JUSTIN BRANDS, THE OLDEST and most revered boot maker in the United States, has indelibly branded the American West. And after 135 years of perfecting its craftsmanship, Justin recently announced the addition of seven new dynamic partnerships with 3D Belt Company, Catawba Sox, A Crowded Coop, Paramount Apparel, Rodeo King Hats, Tru Fragrance and U.S. Continental Marketing. For many years, Justin Brands partnered with the Milano Hat Company, Leegin Creative Leather Products and M&F Western for its Justin and Tony Lama-branded hats, caps and belts. Although the chapter on the long, successful Justin Brands/M&F Western partnership has ended, the partnerships with Leegin and Milano are ongoing. Justin Brands is enthusiastic that retailers and consumers alike will respond favorably to the greatly extended selection of branded items. With a vast range of innovative accessory lines, the company is poised to make it easier and more cost efective for its retailers to place, process, fll and invoice orders. Merchandise will be available on Justin's B2B online portal, enabling retailers to work directly with Justin Brands, which will not only simplify the ordering process, but will also enable product to hit retail shelves faster. Vice President of Communications, Licensing and Social Media Lisa Lankes says the changes are good for the company and the termination of the longtime partnership with M&F Western was not only amicable, but in the best interest of both companies. "After the partnership ended, we kicked into high gear and started approaching new vendors to replace those categories [left by M&F]," says Lankes. "It's been a challenging year, but it's probably been one of the most exciting and best years in terms of positioning our company and our brands for expansion and growth in the licensing area." Lankes and Amy Porter, Justin Brands' licensing and specialty footwear coordinator, agree that partnering with these companies will be a boon to Justin Brands — as well as to the new licensees, some of whom are just starting to penetrate the Western market. "By doing this, Justin Brands is ofering a better service to its retail partners," Lankes says. "It's ofering them these additional accessories to sell to further both entities' success." Following is a rundown of the new licensees, and what each will provide: C ATAWBA SOX makes super-comfy socks, plus an assortment of laces and insoles through Justin Boots, Justin Original Workboots, Tony Lama Boots and Chippewa Boots. "Justin Brands is an iconic American company that represents the very best in work and is highly respected in the Western industry for its quality footwear," says Ander Horne, vice president of sales for Catawba Sox. P ARAMOUNT APPAREL is the new licensee for Justin, Tony Lama and Chippewa, serving up sporty men's and women's ball caps. "All of us here at Parmount Apparel are thrilled to partner with Justin Brands," says Mike Jaques, vice president of sales and marketing. "Justin is an iconic company with an incredible history, and Paramount is in its 85th year of business. We're looking forward to combining experience and expertise with this collection." 30 Western & English Today 3 D BELT COMPANY — a Western industry legend in their own right — has been tapped by Justin, Tony Lama and Justin Original Workboots to manufacture leather wallets, checkbook covers and several additional leather goods, excluding belts. "3D Belt Company is proud and excited to be teaming up with Justin Brands — a company with brands that are rich with Western tradition and heritage," says Tony Brock, senior vice president of marketing and sales. "When you think of the brands that have founded the Western industry, Justin Boots and Tony Lama Boots are the frst that come to mind." U .S. CONTINENTAL MARKETING, a true champion to many a worn-out boot, ofers leather-care products, including environmentally friendly cleaners, conditioners, polishes, creams and water repellants. "As one of the few U.S. manufacturers of leather and fabric care [products]," says David Williams, CEO of U.S. Continental Marketing, "we are delighted and proud to partner with Justin Brands."