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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EARLY SPRING 2015 Western & English Today 15 more comfortable walking shoe, a lower heel for walking. Tey'll still have that Western boot for going out, but this is more of a comfort shoe." And while colors are being toned down for men and women, Torp points out that: "Te little girls still like pink." "Girls boots are still fun and blingy," Roper's Gary Mandelbaum says, "and kids still want glitter." In fact, Roper is expanding its children's oferings and focusing on the ft. Afer all, the children's business continues to grow for many boot companies, including Anderson Bean's Macie Bean boots, Ariat, Cinch, Dan Post, Durango, Jama/Old West, Justin, Roper and Smoky Mountain. "It's so easy when your business is good to build more product for the adult and less for children, because it's a bigger ticket," Torp says. "But when you do that, you forget what's driving your business. Our children's program gets us in most of the houses. Even men seem to be returning to those basics. "It's back to the basics in color," says Louis Boulet of Boulet Western Boots. "Tat doesn't mean people don't want stylish boots, but they want to be stylish within the core market. You still need boots with good shelf appeal along with the good, basic core market boots." BLACK IS BACK Black boots are strong at Rios of Mercedes. "Really good," Dvorak says. "Maybe because people have been so brown for so long." Or as Liberty Boot Company president Tony Benattar says: "Not everybody wants a boot every color of the rainbow." Nor does every consumer want a square toe boot. "Some stores have pulled everything but wide square toes, and they're missing sales," Black Jack Boots' Sergio Guerra says. "Round toes are still selling." Rodney Ammons, a designer for Justin Brands, agrees. "We've seen traditional rounder toes come back a little, and the French toe, the narrow square, too." SKINS ARE IN For the higher-end consumer, many companies have seen an interest in exotic leathers such as ostrich, caiman, hippo, elephant, stingray. "Pirarucu has been a home run for us," Dvorak says, "probably because you can cut it two ways. One's reminiscent of anteater, and the other way looks more snaky." Consumers are responding to the textures and fnishes of boots, Dvorak says. "It's becoming a little LIBERTY MACIE BEAN KIDS RIOS OF MERCEDES ANDERSON BEAN KIDS FERRINI KIDS S F s e c a s a r e s n f n JUSTIN FASHION JAMA BLACK JACK

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