Legwear Buzz: BlackSocks.com, K.Bell & More

Showing Stripes
Contrary to its name, Swiss e-tailer Blacksocks.com now offers striped options. The pattern is available in full and half options (with stripes just across the arches, at left) and retails online for about $10.50 per pair as part of a three-pack and a 10-pack. The styles also are sold through BlackSocks’ subscription service, which delivers three pairs of socks every few months. “Stripes are classic, but these exuberant socks will help show your flair for life without being flamboyant,” said Samy Liechti, founder and president of BlackSocks.

Bell Curve
K. Bell has been busy. The Los Angeles-based brand launches its first American Made by K. Bell capsule collection (at right) for spring ’14, featuring no-show, crew and knee-high looks for men and women, all completely made in the U.S. The socks range from $9 to $12. The season also marks the release of the label’s patent-pending 3-D collection, with four styles for men and three for women. These designs feature dynamic shapes, including hearts, stars and skulls, retailing for $10 to $12. Next year, K. Bell will relaunch its basic sport and golf category for men and women, priced at $8 to $10. All spring ’14 product will be available at specialty and department stores, as well as on Kbellsocks.com, while the sports styles will be sold through pro shops, golf specialty retailers and resort and country club gift shops.

Close Knit
Alabamans unite. Fort Payne-based Little River Sock Mill teamed up with Florence-based fashion and lifestyle label Alabama Chanin to create a capsule collection of women’s socks that will be available via Alabamachanin.com in January and wholesale in fall ’14. Priced at $25 to $40 per pair, the 10 styles are made of organic cotton in a variety of colors and patterns. “We have the same philosophy and history,” Alabama Chanin founder and creative director Natalie Chanin said of the partnership. “Collaboration across these important issues makes perfect sense.” Gina Locklear, a third-generation sock maker for her family’s Little River Sock Mill, added, “Alabama Chanin’s work represents a fashion movement back toward artisan quality and made-in-America craftsmanship — attributes [our mill] aspires to emulate.”

Sock Time
Martin Dingman Countrywear introduced socks for fall ’13. The Arkansas-based label offers alpaca styles (at right) for men, retailing for $35. Made of Andean alpaca fiber, the socks come in an over-the-calf length, with solid cable-knit constructions and flat argyle constructions. Additional Peruvian pima cotton styles are $25. Martin Dingman footwear is currently carried by Nordstrom, Wingtip in San Francisco and other men’s specialty retailers.