Buzz: Tsukihoshi, Elliott Lucca & More

Baby Steps
Tsukihoshi is rounding out its offering with pre-walker styles for babies. Launching for spring, the shoes come in boy- and girl-specific colors and feature convenient hook-and-loop straps and antimicrobial insoles. In a nod to the brand’s Japanese heritage, the bottoms of the shoes are detailed with the name Tsukihoshi, spelled out with the Hiragana alphabet. Available in sizes 0 to 18 months, the new pre-walkers are priced at $38 and will be sold by independents and e-tailers including Zappos.com and Amazon.com.

Launching Lucca
The Sak Brand Group is finally ready to debut women’s footwear under its 23-year-old Elliott Lucca label. The casual spring ’13 collection, which retails from $68 to $228, was originally slated to debut in 2012, but was delayed because of technical issues. The shoes are now scheduled to hit stores, including Lord & Taylor and Macy’s, in February. “Our strategy is to evolve from an affordable handbag story to an aspirational lifestyle [company], and footwear is a very important extension for all of our brands,” said Sak Brand Group CEO Mark Talucci. “Our core business is growing well, and this is a time where we can afford to expand and take more risks.” The label also plans to include eyewear and watches in coming seasons.

Hands Free
Shoe laces are going techy with the launch of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Hickies, an elastic lacing system that replaces traditional laces. Individual strips of durable elastic are inserted into the shoe eyelets, instantly turning any lace-up style into a slip-on. The one-size-fits-all strips can be used on kids’ and adult shoes and are available in 16 colors. Sold in sets of 14 strips, the laces retail for $20 for one set and $30 for two. Hickies are available for immediate delivery.

Dann’s Plans
Steven Dann is growing his brand. The designer and independent retailer recently relaunched his eponymous footwear label with a leather riding boot style that retails for $895. And a full line will roll out for fall ’13. “I will be organically expanding the collection,” Dann said. “The time is right to take the [footwear label] to the next step.” Dann also is stepping up his branded retail presence. Two new eponymous accessory boutiques in East Hills, N.Y., and Plainview, N.Y., are slated to open next year, bringing his door count to three.