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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18 Western & English Today EARLY SPRING 2015 more tactile." Rod Patrick sold out of anteater in less than two months last year, Smith says, but its hippo has created a buzz. Black Jack saw a slowdown last year because of the scarcity of American alligator — but take out those sales, Guerra says, and business was up about 20 percent thanks to its other popular exotics , including sanded shark. "It's even sofer than elephant, with a nice, sof fnish," Guerra says. "Put it on; it's like wearing ostrich." Tat interest in exotics has led Ferrini to develop a "platinum collection" of exotics. "In a market where people are talking about price point," Claver says, "we fnd the exotic boot buyer to be very active out there." Cinch's competitively priced exotics program has also been a hit, Smith says. Domestically produced products are also popular with consumers, many boot representatives say. Tony Lama's revamped El Paso Collection, with classic looks and subtle stitch patterns, is being produced out of the company's El Paso factory. Justin Boots has expanded it U.S.- handcrafed Bent Rail collection, and Chippewa's Rugged Casual series are being hand-sewn in Maine. Among other new introductions, Durango has expanded its women's and men's Rebel line by creating the Ramped Up Rebel of dual-density, super lightweight boots and has added fringed boots and shearling lined boots to its Crush line. Gameday Boots' college-licensed series has added square toes to its Halfime boots and broadened its shearling-style Roadies for the regions where college students and alumni aren't quite as likely to pull on cowboy boots. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION Rocky Brands' BarnTec line features a durable, abrasion- and chemical-resistant boots, while its Trail Bent collection turns to the more traditional Western boot. Rocky has also added women's boots to its Farmsted line. Nocona's Let's Rodeo line, in exotics and smooth leathers, focuses on news leathers and fnishes. Twisted X Boots is doing well with its partnership with Hooey Brands and has also expanded its collection of moccasin casuals. Tin Haul continues to capitalize with its boots aimed for that younger generation that doesn't want to look like Mom and Dad. "We realized that if we don't start approaching the youth, where would we be in about 10 years?" Mandelbaum says. Tose boots show of the "expected and unexpected" with themes ranging from whimsical to religious to military to breast cancer awareness. In the work business, Double H has added waterproof and electrical hazard technology. "If you're out there with nothing but a comp toe, you're behind the times," Double H account executive Tony Johnson says, "but comfort still has to be there." Chippewa's XOG (extreme oil and gas) series is "fully loaded," territory manager Russell Stark says. And Justin Original Workboots are bringing out a Commander X5 series with steel toe and waterproof options and a WorkTek Frac'er that is fame resisting, steel toe and waterproof. Company representatives say they aren't worried about the name Frac'er when fracking is controversial. "Fracking goes on," says Bob McAllister, Justin Brands national sales manager. "It's a big customer. And with the blue collar guys, they're buying workboots because OSHA says they f o d m C v h FERINI JUSTIN BENTRAIL l O s F t ROCKY FARMSTEAD TONY LAMA CINCH DURANGO JUSTIN ORIGINAL WORK BOOTS

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