Sole Commerce Sound Off

Tim Patwell, country sales manager North America; Camper USA

Spring strategy: “We have a new design department. Romain Kremer is our Creative Director, and this is his first spring season. He is trying to reestablish the brand as a fashion leader. He is simultaneously growing the brand to reach more people through color stories and design elements. We are also attracting a younger consumer.”

Challenges: “Adding the fashion part, but keeping our traditional consumers and base happy. We’re getting younger and more fashion people and more business with boutiques.”

Overall outlook: “Our business is definitely growing. We’ve had really positive growth, and this is probably our sixth season of nice growth.”

Andre Assous, designer

Spring strategy: “We are launching another brand of waterproof boots, H20. We also have new boxes with artwork. I’m an espadrille guy, so it was about expanding into boots. I used to make jokes that my business [meetings] were only 20 minutes, but now it’s a full collection.”

Challenges: “The challenge is the euro. Lately, the euro makes a big difference, and we are trying to get good margins for less.”

Overall outlook: “We are expecting 20 percent more in sales with different classifications and the younger fashion audience.”

Sam Calvanio, president; Jacques Levine

Spring strategy: “We are focusing our assortment and ensuring we’re working [closely] with the retailers. In previous seasons, we might have been too reactive, and now we have a clear vision for what to sell, thanks to good sales feedback.”

Challenges: “We are finding a way to talk to the consumer so that an independent shoe brand can compete with a lifestyle license or larger [label.]”

Overall outlook: “The product is better and [retailers] are buying more, I think we’ll be at a 30 percent increase in sales. Our batting average is good.”

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