When it comes to designing, manufacturing and distributing footwear, Footwear Unlimited is the natural choice, counting 48 years of industry experience. Known for its Baretraps line, Footwear Unlimited has a history of producing quality fashion shoes and it was this shoe knowledge that made them the perfect partner for a new venture at Spyder, a brand in the Authentic Brands Group portfolio.
As a leading sportswear and outdoor brand, the Spyder name carries an expectation for excellence. But despite the company’s leading product across the ski and outdoor categories, footwear has remained unknown territory – until now. Through a new partnership with Footwear Unlimited, this year will see the release of Spyder’s first footwear collection, which harnesses the bold aesthetics and quality craftsmanship of each party.
“Working closely with the Spyder brand and product design team ensured that we were staying true to the Spyder’s outdoor American brand heritage: ‘Authentically Spyder’,” said Angel Ilagan, GM and EVP of Spyder Footwear and CMO at Footwear Unlimited. “And it also made sure that we were developing product that the Spyder outdoor lifestyle consumer was looking for – and demanded.”
The collaboration of these two companies has enabled the resulting footwear line to draw on both sets of strengths. For Spyder, this means utilizing color and modernity in a trend-forward way that particularly resonates with younger shoppers; the millennial demographic accounts for nearly half of the brand’s retail sales. When customers purchase from the Spyder brand, they know they are getting the latest in performance and design.
For Footwear Unlimited, it is the company’s experience in developing footwear that ensures that the inaugural Spyder shoe line is rooted in function and quality. Its background in lifestyle fashion has also opened the door to greater variety in the collection: Spyder’s first line includes a Mountain Sport range, an Everyday Active range and a dedicated Lifestyle range.
“We are excited on being able to expand and offer Spyder’s lifestyle assortment all year-round,” said Wesley Chu, SVP of sports, street and active at ABG. “The new collection fuses elements of performance, function and fashion with key models, including outdoor, hike, trail, Après Ski, and lifestyle – all in fresh, trend-setting colorways with technical details for ultimate performance and comfort.”
The timing of the launch will enable Spyder and Footwear Unlimited to capitalize on the booming sneaker and outdoor trends. The past year has seen more consumers invest in their health, opt for casual styles over formalwear, and explore the outdoors – all of which has inspired a boom for the athletic market. But these newer novice consumers are also looking for fun designs that they can wear throughout the day, as well as for any outdoor excursions.
This makes Spyder’s footwear line a perfect fit. The collection, which includes dedicated men’s and women’s lines, focuses as much on style as it does on function. And the price point, ranging from $100-$200, means that the product is more accessible than some of the more performance-driven styles on the market.
“The ability of this line to merge outdoor performance and tech, with product that looks amazing on the foot, is really where Spyder shines. Our quality, unique designs will resonate in the outdoor channel where consumers continue to be on the lookout for what’s coming next, as the pace of changing consumer tastes continues to accelerate.”
—Andy Duemling, VP of Spyder Footwear Sales