Buzz: Hush Puppies, Jambu & More

High Minded
Hush Puppies raises the style bar for fall ’14 with a collection of premium looks for men and women designed to attract a younger, more trend-savvy consumer. The series of contemporary styles includes harness boots and tailored pumps for women, and chukkas and double monk straps for men. The brand, a division of Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine World Wide Inc., kept sight of its comfort heritage with leather-lined, cushioned footbeds. Retailing from $99 to $240 for women’s and $189 to $220 for men’s, the line is aimed at new distribution channels including better independents, specialty and department stores, and e-tailers.

Sure Footed

New York-based Jambu gets a grip on fall ’14 with footwear featuring patented technologies made to increase traction on wet and icy surfaces. The Flex Traction performance boot (above, right) for men and women features a dial at the heel quarter that ejects four retractable tungsten carbide studs on the sole. For added protection, a hydrophilic and antibacterial upper makes the boots quick drying and odor free, while a breathable waterproof membrane can handle temperatures up to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Retailing for $300, the boots are targeted to outdoor specialty stores and will deliver in August.

New Additions

Venettini moves into new territory this fall. The children’s brand, which is designed and distributed by Miami-based Kinderland Inc., will introduce My First Venettini, a collection of newborn and infant shoes (below). The offering will consist of smaller versions of some of Venettini’s most popular styles, packaged in sophisticated gift boxes. Available in European sizes 17 to 19, My First Venettini will retail from $30 to $40. To reach a broader audience, the company also is rolling out a diffusion collection, Ven by Venettini, that will feature more moderate-price versions of styles in the core line. Available in sizes 24 to 38, Ven will retail from $50 to $60. First deliveries for both collections are slated for mid-July.

Expansion Trail

Keen steps into the infant category for the first time this fall. The Portland, Ore.-based brand will offer its popular Targhee (at right) and Rover boots in sizes 0 to 24 months. The soft-sole shoes, priced at $38, feature hook-and-loop closures for easy on and off. Keen also is expanding its hiking assortment for older kids with the Pagosa WP boot in both mid- and low-cut versions. The boys’ boot, priced from $70 to $75, has a waterproof leather and mesh upper and nonmarking rubber outsole that provides stability in all-weather and trail conditions. For girls, Keen is introducing the Koven collection of lightweight boots available in waterproof and nonwaterproof versions. Priced from $55 to $70, the Koven boots are offered in both mid- and low-cut silhouettes.