W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.
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24 Western & English Today EARLY SPRING 2015 into two dif erent sizes. Sergio Grasso recently launched the Michel Robert Line, specif cally designed for slender ankles and a low instep. T rough a combination of sof leather and the latest generation of elastic materials, the Michel Robert f eld boot provides a greater adherence to the ankle and sensitivity in contact with the horse. T e boot also features the Sergio Grasso patented Pro-comf ® sole, ensuring the best comfort and ergonomic functionality, and is priced at MSRP $1,110. PASSION MAKES THE FASHION F ranco Tucci, another very popular line from Italy, is a favorite brand of customers at Equus English Riding Supply in Wilsonville, Ore., says owner Abbie Wojcik. "It's the main brand we work with — we love the quality of the boots, and the look. T ey're sturdy, long-lasting and the leather is gorgeous. T e company really stands behind them." Wojcik says if there's any issue that needs attention, the company repairs it and sends the boots right back to her and her eager customer. She appreciates that Tucci sales manager Davide Canesso comes to her store twice yearly to work closely with her staf . "We're committed to quality, and we put passion into making our boots. We're also committed to service we give all our clients," Canesso says. Founded in 2006, the company's unique measuring system is more intensive than most, Wojcik says, but it pays of for everyone. Franco Tucci told Sidelines magazine last year that he wants his boots to feel like parts of the body. He also promotes ultimate customization with color and design—even laser engraving. Tucci was the f rst bootmaker to utilize crystals in riding boots, and he later established a trend-setting partnership with Swarovski. T e company's Perfect Fit System incorporates the use of anatomic shapes exclusively for mounting the foot and leg, paired with technically appropriate materials to ensure comfort. "T e measuring system is unique—more intensive than most, but it's highly ef ective," says Wojcik. She also stocks four versions, including the Galileo at MSRP $985, and the Marilyn dress boot with wing-tip, toe-cap punching at MSRP $1,025. CLASSIC BRANDS MAKE NEW FANS F rom Galway, the second largest county in Ireland, comes Dubarry of Ireland boots, founded in 1937. T e brand marries classic styling and craf smanship with technology to create beautiful, functional products, says Danny Hulse, general manager of Dubarry Ireland USA. "We have seen yet another year of planned double digit growth and are expanding into the lifestyle market even as we notice the convergence of fashion and function," he says. "Our brand attracts 20-something hipsters, young preppy dressers, mature conservative dressers, all drawn to the same qualities." Hulse says the iconic GORE- TEX-lined Galway at MSRP $479 that created the leather Wellington boot market for the brand remains a top seller, along with the Longford boot at MSRP $529. "It has the same principals in terms of function but a greater level of styling. New for 2015, we have the Leitrim ¾–inch boot at MSRP $499," he says. Look for the new Chukka for men, following the success of the more ref ned men's Kerry model Chelsea ankle boot. A ladies Chelsea boot is also due later this year, says Hulse. "I think we are seeing a resurgence of those heritage brands such as ours, where consumers are looking beyond the label at the substance of the brand," he says. "T ey look at the craf smanship and the story behind the product, and those become almost as important as the product itself." "Dubarry of Ireland's U.S. entity is one of the very best companies I have ever had the pleasure to do business with," says Jeri Jackson, co-owner of Tri- County Feeds in Marshall, Va., for the equestrian and sporting lifestyle. "T eir response to orders, inquiries and issues is expedient, warm and polite. Couple that level of professionalism with high quality footwear, apparel and accessories and it is easy to understand the value of the products. I own seven pairs of boots—and a closet full of their apparel and bags!" With 30 years' experience under its belt — and boots — German manufacturer Cavallo has supplied the German Equestrian Olympic Committee for 30 years. Among other amenities, all f ve new boot models feature what Cavallo calls "Immediate Comfort," meaning they feel comfortable on the rider's feet even when f rst tried on—no breaking in. T is year, Cavallo brings three new jumping boots to the market, all in black, mocha and cognac colors. Fortis is a slim-line riding boot of sof Nappa leather at CAVALLO DUBARRY OF IRELAND FRANCO TUCCI