Hayden-Harnett Shoes Struggle

Hayden-Harnett Shoes Struggle
A style from Hayden-Harnett's suspended fall footwear collection.

The future of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Hayden-Harnett’s footwear is in question after only one season in the category.

Though the company is looking at possible suspension in the category, executives insist that decisions to pull back on footwear are not final. “We are committed to filling our existing fall ’09 wholesale orders and to
continuing to produce and sell a wide range of products on our Website and stores, where demand is high,” said co-founder Ben Harnett via e-mail.

It could have been a case of too much growth too soon. Harnett and partner Toni Hacker introduced the Hayden-Harnett brand in 2005 as an accessories label, and it has since expanded into handbags, apparel, outerwear and most recently swimwear and shoes for spring ’09.

“As a small, self-financing company, we often have to make very difficult decisions in order to guarantee the future strength and stability of our company,” said Harnett.

The company partnered with Target on a line of affordable handbags between December 2008 and March 2009, and last month opened its second New York boutique on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan.

In addition to the footwear cuts, three wholesale positions were eliminated this month “due to the challenging economic period,” according to one of the dismissed sales reps.

It is unclear if any other categories will be reevaluated.