Western & English Today

MAR 2015

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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12 Western & English Today EARLY SPRING 2015 A pendulum swing toward "back-to-basics"... new lines from existing brands … concern over how a fall in oil prices might afect business...and changes in management, owners and company direction. Te moves started last spring when Justin Brands Inc., coming of one of its best years, promoted Chuck Schmalbach to chief operations ofcer; made Lisa Lankes chief marketing ofcer; moved Mike Fuller, who had overseen Tony Lama and Nocona, to senior vice president of sales; promoted Monte Nelson, previously Nocona's brand manager, to Tony Lama brand manager; and sent Chris Stein, Tony Lama's national sales manager for the past four years, to replace Nelson as Nocona brand manager. At the Western and English Sales Association's January market in Denver, Othell Welch, who founded Corral Boots 16 years ago, announced that he has sold his interest in the company to business partners Hector and Francisco Cuadra. Terms were not disclosed. Welch, 60, thanked retailers and manufacturers and friends who helped make Corral a success, and said he will retain his interest in the Cowgirl Justice apparel line. As far as any immediate changes with Corral, Francisco Cuadra said, "If it's not broke, don't fx it." Te Cuadra family plans to continue Corral's line while introducing Cuadra's Hispanic-marketed urban-lifestyle products (www.cuadra.com.mx) and return 75-year-old Winds of change are a-blowin' in the Western boot market. BY JOHNNY D. BOGGS company Montana Boots to the industry. Industry insiders indicate that Lucchese Boot Company, a subsidiary of Arena Brands Inc., is changing its direction, but Lucchese representatives declined to be interviewed for this article. Michael Dvorak, who oversaw Karman Inc.'s Stetson line of boots, has moved to Rios of Mercedes and its sister companies, Anderson Bean Boots and Olathe Boot Company. To replace Dvorak, Karman's Stacie Westerhausen, vice president of merchandising, and Carrie Moldenhauer, vice president of design, are tag-teaming on Stetson's footwear. Stetson plans to match the boots with the apparel. Tat doesn't mean purposely matching boots and clothes, but, as Westerhausen says, "making sure the colors are sophisticated" for the consumer who's "a little more eclectic, with an edge of Bohemian." NEW LINES FROM ESTABLISHED BRANDS In other changes, fashy fip-fop mainstay Gypsy Soule, which had been licensed with Ariat International to produce cowboy boots, has begun producing those boots — and vulcanized shoes — under its own label (see this issue's Hot Ticket, page 32). Dan Post Boot Company is making a line of high-end boots, called El Dorado, exclusively for Boot Barn. And having seen a downward trend in women's boots, Old Gringo Boots has CORRAL DAN POST NOCONA STETSON b o c l a r e c N I n w h p r b o t h i s e x t r d S T E T S O N I N L I K E A LION

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