Buzz: Durango, G.O. Max, WedgeWelly

Three’s Company

Nelsonville, Ohio-based Durango is expanding its reach in the lifestyle market for men and women with a trio of spring ’10 launches.

For men, there’s Rebel, a collection of rugged, yet lightweight looks with a Western flavor. Focusing on comfort, the collection features removable cushioned footbeds and dual-density rubber/EVA outsoles. They are set to retail for $110.

On the women’s side, there’s Dream, a series of Western-influenced clogs and boots with a comfort slant. The series features gel heel pads, cushioned footbeds and lightweight polyurethane outsoles. Retail prices range from $80 for clogs to $140 for boots.

Also for women is the Flirt collection of boots in both Western and harness silhouettes sporting athletic-inspired bottoms for added comfort and ease. It retails for around $100.

All collections are slated for February/March delivery, with distribution aimed at Western and fashion accounts.



Spiritual Sense

G.O. Max is known for entry-price-point factory-direct fashion footwear. Now the City of Industry, Calif.-based company is adding comfort brand Yin Yang to the mix for spring ’10.

The collection is built around the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, defined as complementary opposites within a greater whole. In footwear terms, it refers to the brand’s removable footbed design that balances support features such as built-in arches and heel cups with a hint of cushioning. The comfort story continues with lightweight polyurethane bottoms.

Targeted at independent fashion-comfort stores, the line is available on a factory-direct basis and is set to retail from $59 for sandals to $125 for closed styles. To better serve independents, the entire line is available on an open-stock basis in both medium and wide widths, with a March delivery.




Storm Chasers

U.K.-based rain boot maker WedgeWelly is making a splash in the U.S. market for spring ’10 with a line of novelty knee-high rain boots distributed through WedgeWelly USA in Huntsville, Ala.

The collection of looks, many featuring animal prints and stars, takes a feminine approach to the category with its slimmer signature silhouette with a narrower toe and 2 1/2-inch wedge bottom. The boots feature cotton linings, cushioned insoles made of latex and foam, and built-in arch supports. A mid-calf version and ankle version will be added later in the season.

While the collection has a whimsical point of view, the brand has a more serious side. Now through October 2010, $5 from the purchase of each pair of its pink Candy Girl boots at wholesale and on Wedgewellyusa.com will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Available for immediate delivery, the boots retail for $95.



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