Owner, Rime, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The new Etonic Lifestyle collection of heritage looks. It’s being released with a small, selective group of retailers in the U.S. for early summer. It will feature heritage [basketball] models such as Hakeem Olajuwon’s 1984 Akeem the Dream signature shoes, in limited quantities. The looks are fresh and different [compared] with everything else in the market. Etonic [updated the styles] but kept the heritage part of it.”
Owner, SoleSpace, Oakland, Calif.
“Clae. It has beautiful, unique designs. We had a lot of people asking about it — people in our core audience and [those] we would like to [reach]. I fell in love with what they’re doing with materials. The [line is] high-quality construction. It’s been well received, resonating with urban customers who are a little more sophisticated than the average twentysomethings.”
CEO & partner, Need Supply Co., Richmond, Va.
“We added The Hill-Side for spring. The guys [behind it] are well known. For years, they’ve done ties and scarves out of unique fabrics. Now they’ve expanded to include shoes by taking simple, classic sneaker silhouettes and using fabrics to make them interesting and different. These are something very special.”
Owner, Blue Sole Shoes, Philadelphia
“Italian brand Koil. I bought it direct from Italy due to its unique styling, [particularly] the leather finishing. There are a lot of companies that do burnishing and hand staining, but these are finer — more pristine and polished. The [collection is] more avant-garde, [focused] on dress and sport-dress styles that appeal to everyone, from a prom kid to an older guy.”
Buyer, Getoutside, Toronto
“We added Palladium for fall ’13. We wanted to introduce something that had its own identity and isn’t following or copying any other trends. The line has proven to be a good seller, and we’re going to continue with it. It’s a brand that has a bit of hype [right now] in Europe and North America, so we decided to test it out.”