Do the Twist
Rockford, Mich.-based Hush Puppies is putting a new spin on toning this fall with Twist 2 Tone, a collection of women’s styles that allow the wearer to adjust the intensity of a workout. Rotating the heel, then holding the locking tab changes the toning intensity from low to high. In the low-intensity mode, the Bio-Bevel heel design, borrowed from the brand’s Body Shoe collection, encourages walking in a natural path. The result is a smoother, more balanced walking motion that requires less energy. For a more rigorous workout, the high-intensity mode creates a negative heel effect that works more leg muscles. Set to launch in July, the collection includes Mary Jane styles, tall boots and athletic looks, retailing from $109 to $160.
Though it comes from Down Under, Ausiie Boots Australia has opted to produce its new Ausiie Couture line of upscale fashion boots and shoes in the brand’s Chatsworth, Calif., headquarters. Co-owner Melissa Tampi said, “We had better [product] control in the U.S. and could do smaller quantities. We [can] have more unique styles. We know how to engineer [the product] and bring it to life.” The trend-driven collection, she said, remains true to its shearling roots, incorporating wool trims and linings. For added exclusivity, styles will be available in six- to 12-pair runs. Set to deliver in August, the collection retails from $400 to $900.
Known for authentic mukluks and moccasins inspired by Canada’s aboriginal people, Manitobah Mukluks has introduced the Storybook Project, a selection of special-edition footwear meant to help revive the traditional arts. The profit-sharing initiative is a partnership between the brand and tribal elders and artisans who continue to produce their traditional footwear. The initial offering of footwear replicas, called Storybooks, includes two boots and one moc designed by two native craftswomen. Each pair takes six to eight weeks to craft and retails for $450 to $1,000. Orders are now being taken through The Kravetz Group in Andover, Mass.