First Look at Summit by White Mountain

White Mountain Footwear is exploring higher ground with the launch of Summit.
The Lisbon, N.H.-based company focused on its heritage with Summit, a new collection focused on modern twists on classic silhouettes, for spring ’14.

“[White Mountain] has always been a leather house. We wanted to get back to making 100 percent leather products, making our own shoes and domestic manufacturing,” said Kevin Mancuso, CEO of White Mountain Footwear, which is comprised of the White Mountain, Cliffs by White Mountain and Rialto brands. “Perceived value and integrity are the backbone of the company.”

The company is looking to establish a presence in more upscale markets with Summit. Quality materials, high-end embellishments and traditional styling will be the signatures of the new brand, said John Cali, co-designer and creative director for Summit.

“We wanted to grow the business and explore other segments of the market. We wanted to get into a better price point grid. The key to that is leather,” said Cali. “Summit is at the crossroads of fashion trends. There are a lot of rich leathers, a lot of exotics. People are likening the style to the Gatsby [era] and ‘Mad Men’ trends. We’re calling it contemporary classic.”

Styles in the inaugural collection include booties, oxfords and other menswear-inspired styles. A variety of exotics are also available. Retail prices start at $110.
The company will target department stores including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom with the launch.

“We were close to signing a license and one of [our] desired retailers suggested we don’t [license] and start our own line ourselves,” Mancuso said. “We put together top quality oxfords and more tailored sandals. Summit, as our fourth brand, is the apex.”

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