Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring is always an exciting time of year. After the sports pages have covered the Winter Olympics, enthusiasts and columnists will quickly turn again to baseball and spring training. Even in the depths of the Snow Belt, February and March usually bring a few days of sunshine when rubber-coated baseballs and trusty mitts are brought out, only to be returned to the closet when the proverbial March Lion roars again.

Spring this year is especially exciting at Allen Edmonds. We have a talented line-up of new shoes just now hitting the stores. Here are a few highlights:

As mentioned in my last blog, it’s the PARK AVENUE’S 30th Anniversary as The Great American Business Shoe. The new walnut pebble grain P.A. responds to the current movement to “Authentic Americana” (as Newsweek called the new fashion trend). Now the P.A. not only looks great in black calfskin with a dark suit, it also looks fantastic with jeans or khakis in walnut grain.

The early results in our retail stores tell us that we’ve once again connected with our loyal customers with the re-introduction of two additional Timeless Classics – the BENTON and the WALTON. The WALTON, with its double oak sole retro-profile, seems especially exciting to new and younger customers given the fashion momentum toward authentic and classic Americana. In the same vein, the MACNEIL long wingtip has become more versatile in its new navy, walnut and burgundy leathers. The LOMBARD is a blucher wingtip on the tasteful Executive Collection rubber sole.

The younger man’s “look” in business casual settings or at social gatherings today is an untucked white shirt with a patterned inside collar and cuffs, a pair of dark blue jeans and a pair of brown or walnut WALTONs, MACNEIL s, LOMBARDs or STRANDs. To see why, try our new pants comparison feature on our website with the STRAND.
The CHARLESTON, AUGUSTA, BOSTON and WESTCHESTER offer fresh new takes on some classic leather-bottom silhouettes – a mocc toe, a medallioned balmoral, a monk strap and a classic penny loafer.

To our collection of Italian-made shoes, we’ve added a couple new winners. The FIRENZE is a comfort-first, rubber-soled slip-on with a bit more fashion-forward toe shape and the RIMINI is a penny with that sleek, thin Italian leather sole and superb ultra-soft leather. Both are perfect under khakis or other lightweight pants in spring and summer, with socks or without.

Finally, take a look at a couple new Weekend Collection shoes. The WINTHROP is an incredibly supple but durable driving moccasin that we’ll put up against any in the field in terms of leather quality and construction. And the BOULDER Venetian slip-on promises to be the power-hitter of this roster. It has a thicker drop-in sole with ergonomic cushioning built into the sole’s interesting pattern. The BOULDER’s mudguard rim with the sole’s side extensions, plus the water repellant leather treatment we’ve added, make this the perfect transition shoe – it’s great in spring but also fully capable to handle winter’s last roar.

Lots to like this year….

Best wishes,

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation