Marc Hare is branching out. His high-end men’s footwear brand, which is produced in Italy, has expanded its product range by launching a ready-to-wear collection for spring ’16.
Presented during London Fashion Week, Mr. Hare’s 36-piece men’s clothing offering includes lightweight tunics paired with printed, cropped trousers in addition to the label’s core footwear.
“When you design the shoes, you want to design the rest of the outfit as well,” said founder Marc Hare. “Our goal is to become an omnichannel destination where people come into our stores and see our entire range.”
In addition to the ready-to-wear, the latest footwear collection — ranging from $368 to $858 — included new styles that depart from Mr. Hare’s classic focus.
“There are a couple of punk boots,” said Hare. “We took classic lasts and made them completely rock n’ roll.” Penny loafers were done in black with colored suede tongues, while slide sandals were finished in checkered leather.
The widened product offering coincides with Mr. Hare’s recent retail expansion.
The brand has opened two stores since 2012, including locations in London’s Mayfair and Notting Hill neighborhoods. As a result, Mr. Hare’s point of sales have shifted significantly. “In two years, we’ve gone from being 100 percent wholesale to 70 percent [of our own] retail,” he said.
Though the U.K. is Mr. Hare’s biggest market, e-commerce is a major focus for the coming year.
By 2016, Hare said, the brand will likely be shipping more product overseas than within the U.K., thanks to its website and e-tailers like Mr. Porter and Colette.
Buyers said they’re attracted to Mr. Hare’s timeless-yet-modern appeal. “We were first drawn to Mr. Hare as we felt there was a gap in the market for shoes that were grownup and well-made, but not stuffy,” said Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matchesfashion.com.
Despite the brand’s recent expansion, footwear will always be the core of Mr. Hare’s business, the founder explained. “With our retail, it will always be like you’re walking into a shoe shop that sells clothes, not the other way around,” Hare added.
Next up, the designer is looking to open a store in the U.S. and expand the Mr. Hare team.
“I probably should have done that first,” he laughed.
[Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in print 07/13/2015]