Cole Haan Confirms It’s Preparing for an IPO

Cole Haan is preparing for an initial public offering.

The shoe company confirmed in a Monday morning email to FN that it has begun the process of filing for an IPO — although the timing remains undisclosed.

In 2013, private equity firm Apax Partners bought Cole Haan from Nike. Apax, which also owns specialty retailer Rue21 and luxury platform, has heavily invested in on-point fashion and footwear. The company’s IPO comes during a period of uncertainty for the footwear industry, which continues to battle with new upcoming tariffs on Chinese imports, as well as broader retail-sector challenges evidenced by high-profile bankruptcies and widespread store closures.

As a growing number of women continue to demand both comfort and style in their footwear, brands delivering sophisticated silhouettes that seamlessly incorporate underfoot cushioning and flexibility have found favor among a range of consumers, including Generation Z, millennials and baby boomers. It’s a space Cole Haan has played in for some time and could bode well for the company on the lead-up to its IPO. The brand this month launched its Grand Ambition line, with each shoe infused with comfort technology created in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Biomechanics Laboratory.

“The collection has been thoughtfully designed, crafted and engineered for the modern working woman — stylish, comfortable, versatile and affordable yet luxurious with the capacity to accompany her and her extraordinary path,” said chief creative officer Scott Patt.

The company also has a foot in the sneaker space, putting a fresh spin on its popular Zerøgrand collection through the January debut of its All-Day Trainer — a series of performance styles for men and women, designed for both office and gym.

“Everyone needs a shoe that is comfortable and sharp enough for the office, but functional and durable enough to take you through your day and even your workout,” Patt added. “We have truly created a performance-first shoe that fits perfectly into the rest of your life.”

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