Just in time for the Outdoor Retailer trade show this week in Salt Lake City, New York-based footwear company Vida Group has announced it’s going deeper into the outdoor-adventure business. Today, the firm debuted JSport, a new line of fashionable, sport-driven styles for men, women and kids targeted to “family weekend warriors.”
Launching for spring ’16, the line will focus on simple, multitasking “hero” shoes, done in vibrant color palettes with sustainable designs. Because the shoes are targeted to a family audience, they will come with wallet-friendly prices of $59 to $89.
The collection will be overseen by GM David Jonah, who also runs the Jambu and JBU labels. Together with JSport, the three labels now make up Vida’s Adventure Brand Group.
“We envision JSport as the brand of choice for the ever-active and powerful millennial consumer,” said Vida Group VP Gabe Safdeye in a statement. “We see a gap in the marketplace that JSport styling can fill, while also serving as another asset to the explosive growth we’ve enjoyed with the Jambu and JBU labels.”
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The JSport line will be targeted to family retail accounts such as Famous Footwear and Amazon. Meanwhile, the higher-end Jambu brand, which has prices of $99 to $249, will continue to serve better independents and department stores; and JBU, priced from $59 to $89, is intended for big-box chains such as DSW and Bon-Ton.
Vida Group, which is the footwear licensee for labels such Carter’s, Kensie and André Assous, has been slowly building heat around its Jambu series since the line launched in 2010. In 2014, as part an initial push into the outdoor market, Jambu introduced performance shoes and boots featuring such technical elements as steel carbide spikes for grip on ice and snow.
At the time, Jonah told Footwear News, “It’s always tough to grow outside what people think is your comfort zone. We look to adopt those consumers who shop performance products but are more diverse [by nature]. The real challenge has been convincing consumers they can be fashionable, outdoorsy and comfortable.”