Page 1




Page 1




Page 1



Page 1

Correctly fitted shoes campaign planned



“This is a time for us to work together to ensure a future for shoe fitting and independent shops.”

By Nicola Hyde INDUSTRY leaders are planning an awareness campaign for next year to promote the importance of correctly fitted shoes.

She indicated that the Society is also considering putting together a petition to put before Downing Street to appeal for further help.

The Society of Shoefitters announced in its latest newsletter that it plans to put together a National Shoe Fitting Week under the banner Keep Feet Fit.

She added: “We are concerned that the number of independents will continue to decline, which will have a knock on effect for many of the brands (both children’s and adults) that supply them and depend upon them as the main showroom for their goods.

Secretary Laura West said it was time to start pushing the government to realise the importance of correctly fitted shoes and the service independent retailers provide to the public. She added: “Without doubt we could save the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds over the coming years if they would simply realise the importance of people’s feet in relation to their entire physiology and well being. “How many GP’s hours are wasted due to people with neck, back, shoulder, hip, knee and leg aches and pains, many of which have been brought about by ill fitting and

Laura West

inappropriate footwear when they were young? “Changing the way you walk to compensate for your footwear throws out numerous joints, and those joints in turn ‘wear’ incorrectly causing pain. “It is about time we banged the message home with those who could make a difference.

“The more people are encouraged to shop online and fit their own children, the less likely they are to go to a quality shoe shop. “If the Independents are scarce, then the fashion high street stores and supermarkets will take over and eventually will only want their ‘own label’, reducing the number of brands available.”  What do you think? Send your comments to the editor


First TV campaign for manufacturer Page 4

A shop owner from Shropshire has won a luxury hot air balloon ride after entering a competition at Moda. Cara Hickman, from Urban Angels in Bridgnorth, entered the competition to win the once-in-a-lifetime trip on the Jacobson Group stand. She will now be able to choose which site she wants to soar from.

Further expansion for Hotter COMFORT brand Hotter has opened 13 new stores across the UK this year – with a further four more planned before the end of 2012.

Students’ work showcased Page 5 December/January 2012/13


The brand welcomes over 100,000 customers into its shops each week and has opened in places like Cheltenham, Harrogate, Oxford, Tunbridge Wells, Shrewsbury, Inverness and Winchester.

Hotter now has 38 stores, but four more openings are planned before the end of the year. Retail director John Nicholas said: “It looks like 2013 will be another busy year for our retail team as we've already identified a further 15 locations for stores. “We have developed a winning formula of wonderfully stylish

comfort products combined with a high level of service which we find brings customers back to us time after time. Each store offers a personalised fitting service to ensure customers find their perfect fit every time. “We even create a comfortable and relaxed environment for our customers to shop, with comfy seating and a 'home-like' feel.”




Page 1

Book charts Clarks’ Jamaica triumph A BOOK has been released which outlines how traditional brand Clarks’ shoes became an unexpected hit in sun-soaked Jamaica. Clarks in Jamaica – published this month by One Love Books – tells the story of how the brand that was once a school staple became the footwear of choice for the reggae stars of Kingston who regularly bought shoes from the Somersetbased company. The book is by designer Al Fingers and takes a look at Clarks’ celebrated status on the island where they have been the shoe of choice for decades. Boots from the Pixie Footwear range. Picture credit: Iain Tingle.

Manufacturer marks success with first TV ad campaign By Nicola Hyde

across the UK and Ireland.

A NEW UK footwear manufacturer which is now stocked in over 120 boutiques is celebrating success with the launch of its first ever TV advertising campaign.

“Retail prices range from £45 to £70 and the brand’s first season was a resounding success, with worldwide sales and over 100 independent retailers in the UK and Europe signing up to stock it.

Pixie Footwear is only in its second season but is pushing forward with ambitious expansion plans that saw it have the advert filmed and produced on location in Leicester, where it is based. The advert features music from upand-coming electro band Decibels and will be aired on Sky Living and Sky LivingIt this month. Managing director Stephen Trigg – who has worked in the UK footwear industry for over 30 years and also designs the boots – said the brand’s range is currently made in China but he hopes that may change in the future. He added: “The boots are manufactured in China, but we have hopes of one day bringing some production back to the UK. “It is really set to grow – next year we will have a new partner in China looking to sell throughout Asia and Australia and we are looking to develop our European market. It’s not a big company but it’s growing.” Pixie Footwear has five agents selling a range of boots and bags


December/January 2012/13

Al said: “Being from England, I have always been intrigued by the Jamaican fascination with Clarks’ shoes and the way they are continually referenced within Jamaican music. “Vybz Kartel’s song ‘Clarks’ brought the phenomenon to many people’s attention in 2010, but the relationship goes back way further,

A page from the new book.

and in compiling this book I wanted to bring attention to that, highlighting the work of artists such as Dillinger and Little John who had sung about Clarks many years before.” Clarks arrived in the West indies one hundred years ago, but became the rudeboy and Rasta shoe of choice during the 1960s, eventually filtering into reggae and dancehall song lyrics. The book includes current and historic photographs, interviews and archival material from the Jamaican singers, producers and musicians who have worn and sung about Clarks shoes throughout the years.

Stephen added: “By investing in a television campaign, we hope to support our stockists and gain brand recognition.” Each Pixie branded boot is created in microfibre – because the company ethos does not believe in using animal coats – and the collections feature faux fur linings with a padded inner sock. They each have a slip resistant sole that has been hand-stitched. Stephen runs the business with his wife Kerry in Leicestershire, with all the design, administration and warehousing taking place at their headquarters.

Fitflop has held a charity auction for a collection of limited designs to celebrate its fifth birthday. The brand developed the collection – which features cushioned ballet pumps trimmed with studs, clogs made from red patent and super soft fringing on the Mukluk boot – to raise money for Care International in a bid to stamp out poverty. The auctions ran on Ebay in November for ten days and each shoe was custom-made in the winner’s size.

New Balance signs cricketer

Retailer Melanie Flynn, of Be Fabulous, in Cornwall, said the new brand had helped her combat some stagnant boot sales.

ATHLETICS brand New Balance has signed up England Test cricketer Jonathan Trott on a three-year arrangement.

She added: “I think people we so pleased to find a boot that they could afford. We have found since this recession that any boot over the £200 to sell just sits there – no matter how wealthy the customer.”

He joins the brand’s group of elite athletes, which include South African star cricketer Dale Steyn, currently ranked world’s number one Test bowler, and Pat Cummins, Australia’s youngest Test cricketer

for 50 years. Executive Vice President Alan Hed said: “This will allow the brand to continue developing its global reputation for performance products with the New Balance range encompassing both cricket footwear and cricket equipment for the first time.” News




Page 1

Students’ work showcased at Mayor’s show By Nicky Hyde FOOTWEAR design students have had their work showcased in London’s annual pageant for the Lord Mayor’s Show – which was televised by the BBC last month. The De Montfort University (DMU) students – who has been highly commended for their work throughout the year – travelled on board one of the 150 floats which took part in the parade. Becka Hunt, whose shoe was chosen as winner of a competition to design footwear for The Duchess of Cambridge, carried the sapphire blue shoe which she decorated with pearl beads and embroidery in the parade. She was invited to take part by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers (shoemakers), one of the oldest Livery companies of the City of London. She said: “I am very flattered that


we were invited to join the float. It was a spectacular event. Cordwainers gave me an award from their student support fund, which really helped me. “Their support for young footwear designers plays a really important role in supporting the British footwear design industry.” She was on-board the float, sponsored by University of the Arts London, with fellow DMU Footwear Design student Hannah Binns. Hannah’s own shoe design won her a prestigious placement with GAP in New York last summer. Hannah, 20, from Wirral, Merseyside, said: “It was an amazing experience to see the huge procession and all the crowds. “It’s very exciting to see British footwear design flourishing and being showcased and celebrated at major events like this.”



Page 1

The design college at the forefront of the UK’s footwear industry is marking its 125th anniversary. Out On A Limb editor Nicola Hyde takes a look through the photo archives and asks – what has made Cordwainers such a success?



Industry’s finest trained at college CORDWAINERS was founded in Bethnal Green in 1887 as a joint venture between the Worshipful Companies of Cordwainers and Leathersellers. It merged with London College of Fashion in 2000, and the combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovation coupled with a focus on design is what has kept Cordwainers at London College of Fashion at the forefront of the footwear and accessories industry for 125 years. The alumni roll call of Cordwainers at London College of Fashion reads like the Who’s Who of the footwear and accessories industry, from design heavyweights like Jimmy Choo and Beatrix Ong contributing to the UK’s £6billlion footwear industry.

An accessories graduate in one of the College’s workshops. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.

Paul McNicoll, Dean of the School of Design and Technology, said: “One of the main reasons why Cordwainers at London College of Fashion is so respected is that it has trained some of the industry’s most successful footwear and accessories designers including Jimmy Choo, Emma Hope, Patrick Cox, Nicholas Kirkwood, Camilla Skovgaard, Beatrix Ong and Kat Maconie (to name but a few).


“Many more are already coming up through the ranks to make their mark on the fashion world. It is also greatly respected due to its rich in heritage; many of the staff and technicians have worked in the footwear industry since footwear manufacturing was still at the heart of the East End of London.” Paul says the biggest strength of

Racks of lasts. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.

Cordwainers is that while it is steeped in heritage, it is forward thinking and many students are taught techniques and skills that are likely to come popular in the industry in as far ahead as five years time. Continued opposite

Cover Story Page 8

Brand Spotlight Page 11


December/January 2012/13

An archive image of a man at a sewing machine. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.

Student Alexandra Kirk BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear Product Design and Development’s creation. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.




Page 1

As part of the 125 anniversary celebrations, it has now announced plans for a £125,000 fund-raising campaign to support the next generation of designers and provide scholarships to plug the gap after the government axed university funding. Paul added: “It is absolutely imperative that we preserve the heritage and success of Cordwainers at London College of Fashion for future generations. “The UK is a world leader in the creative industries but it can only continue to be so if we invest in our future. This is why we’re launching the campaign as a call to action to help keep creative talent in the UK and to tackle head on the changes to funding in higher education. “We must raise vital funds not only for capital investment in cutting edge machinery and equipment but perhaps most importantly to fund life changing scholarships and bursaries to help those who might otherwise not be able to afford higher education but who possess the talent and creativity to go far. “The economic landscape is continually changing which is why Cordwainers has over the years adapted to the market. “During the latter part of the 20th century, like a lot of British manufacturing, the British footwear industry went into decline, which could have had adverse implications


Student Gabriella Dazzo BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear Product Design and Development. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.

for the College’s technically biased portfolio of courses, were it not for the progressive thinking of the Cordwainers’ College staff who developed the then radical approach that, whilst the technical grounding should remain fundamental to the syllabus, design would be incorporated as the value-added element. “The mix of technical and creative design remain fundamental to our courses today which makes them so unique worldwide.”

Andre McQueen, footwear graduate 2006. Courtesy of London College of Fashion.





Page 1

Out on a Limb cover story

Editor’s comment

Nicola Hyde Editor

Julie’s award is inspiring for sector IT always inspires me when I read some of the success stories we have in Out On A Limb magazine. This issue, we’ve had some great news shared with us. None has inspired us more than the story of Julie Dean from the Cambridge Satchel Company who scooped a global fashion award for the brand that started on her kitchen table. Perhaps most positive is the news that, after starting out with just a £600 investment the company has bloomed from a turnover of £26,000 to a whopping £10million.

Let’s Get Together for Autumn/Winter collection The Let’s Get Together campaign puts a festive spin on the shoes and boots with colour, playful style and happy, fashion forward sensibility. Highlights include the classic HP1958 line, celebrating favourite styles with new bold colour combinations.

style to the next level with a toast to women’s chic fashion. SMART features the best in performance with a sophisticated selection of shoes that are all-weather worthy. The Hush Puppies Body Shoe continues to evolve combining superior fit with balanced comfort and casual style. For kids, a collection of fun, bright styles with Hush Puppies signature comfort will stand out for the season.

Style Spotlight takes Hush Puppies

“Our Let’s Get Together campaign

HUSH Puppies AW13 season focuses its design around carefree celebration.

Meanwhile, congratulations must also be passed on to those brands who scooped awards at the annual Footwear Friends dinner that was held last month. Nicole Le Grange – of the Love Art Wear Art brand we showcased last month – won a £5,000 bursary aimed at furthering her business expertise and a 12 month mentoring programme with industry experts. While quirky brand Red by Wolves – which launched in 2007 with a passion for handcrafted British footwear with a focus on heritage – won the £750 Meltzer Travel Award to allow them to attend trade fairs and fund research trips.

THE Nineteen Fifty Eight Collection celebrates in retro style with a distinct and bright fashion perspective. From accent stitching to striped soles and mixed materials the new line of authentic styles is punctuated by fun colour combinations For women, modern styles include platform wedges and chunky heels that have a unique flair and boast the latest shades of the season. The 58 Classic Ankle Boot with tassled rear zipper and colourful soles is playful and fun. The 70s inspired Maven Kiltie and Maven Oxford take modern silhouettes and places them on a retro-inspired chunky heel.

High business rates and the slow down in spending caused by the recession has been blamed – and the Society of Shoefitters is rallying to still support local retailers.

8 December/January 2012/13

“It’s all about Hush Puppies’ playful vibe and bringing this spirit to our consumers through our chic, whimsical styles.“

Colour remix

In less positive news, the British Retail Council has announced that more than one in ten shops is now empty on UK High Streets.

In a newsletter sent this month, president Jan Parry said: “The fewer of us independents there are, the more difficult it is for people who do want a good service and quality footwear. It is not easy for our organisation because if shops close and there are fewer new ones, then what will happen to the Society?”

for the season is a celebration of the fun and playfulness of the Hush Puppies brand,” says Dani Zizak, vice president of global marketing. “We’re combining sophisticated looks with fun colours and details that are party worthy. We had a blast creating the brand campaign that highlights this collection.

The men’s 1958 collection includes a crepe casual sole with a citycrafted feel in the Banyon chukka boot. The SMART collection for men and women is a stylish group of shoes and boots that offer superior performance for all-weather conditions including waterproof protection. The men’s styles feature an oxford and boot that are extremely durable and comfortable with rugged outsoles and aggressive treads. The women’s Weather Smart boot styles offer a fashionable look with trendy zippers and buckles in rich leathers and incredible fit and function. All SMART styles feature a temperature regulations system with moisture control for the ultimate in comfort.

The Rex oxford and Lou slip on are throwbacks to the original favourite, authentic Hush Puppies styles while the Twill four-eyelet casual suede shoe exudes hip sophistication. Sales: UK- Contact: Debra Everard T: 0207 8600100 E:





Page 1




Page 1




Page 1




Page 1

The next edition of ISPO Munich is scheduled for March next year with an increase in international exhibitors. The sporting goods and sports style show will host over 2,000 international exhibitors from the action sports, traditional sports, ski, outdoor and performance sports markets, with over 60,000 visitors expected from more than 100 countries, with strong interest from the UK and Ireland. Meanwhile, the FSPA will have a showcase UK area in hall B4, featuring “The London Lounge”, a reflection of the 2012 sporting legacy.

SOLE launch new boots SOLE has launched a range of women’s boots with built-in wearmouldable footbeds which mould to fit feet. The orthopaedic shape holds the foot in a neutral position while the contact across the base of the foot encourages even weight distribution and shock absorption. Serenity is a classic below the knee boot made with premium leather,

with RRP of £190. Loft is a mid-calf boot made with premium leathers, with RRP of £140. Other new additions to the SOLE range include Sigh, a women’s recovery shoe, Exhale and Repel, two men’s recovery shoes and three custom mouldable footbeds with a Thinsulate™ layer for keeping feet supported, comfy and insulated in cold weather.

A company which set up in the 90s making hand-crafted baby shoes has blossomed into a successful business with 30 employees. Mum of four Rhiannon Owen set up Inch Blue in 1999, making soft leather shoes for babies and toddlers – and now all the creations are made in the company workshop in South Wales.

Brand signs up to campaign TECHNOLOGY brand Gore-Tex has signed up to a campaign to improve health and well-being across the UK. It is supporting theOutdoor Industries Association’s campaign called Britain on Foot which encourages the public to take part in outdoor activities and ultimately increase levels of exercise. Ana McNamara, Gore Marketing, said: “We are proud to be able to


December/January 2012/13

support Britain on Foot because it is a campaign that has the potential to have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of people in the United Kingdom. “We are lucky to have a beautiful country that is easily accessible and the more people who get outside and enjoy it the better. “The campaign has the potential to really make a difference to people’s everyday lives.”




Page 1




Page 1

It is a bold claim to say that every single product which bears breathable yet Gore-Tex guarantees just that. Out on A Limb the statement to the test.

Brand’s succ on two key p BY including its famous membrane technology in a pair of shoes, the company and its footwear brand partners guarantee those two things.

first co

Shoes flexible equipp the en take u bath. T 300 m throug shoe d stops techni entere

In other words, these shoes will keep you comfortably dry whatever the weather. And when the success of your brand is based around that promise, it is vital to get it right every time. I was lucky enough to be the only journalist invited by the company to visit beautiful Bavaria in Germany to see first hand the science behind GoreTex and how that promise to the end consumer is fulfilled.

This te produc

This is is only determ produc

And although, camels, llamas and snow covered forests may not usually feature heavily in the typical working day of an Out on A Limb reporter, for this task, those cold, Autumnal surroundings were perfect.

Workin the ho identif

The trip was designed to cover the whole process which a prototype pair of boots would go through to ensure they met the two key Gore-Tex components of breathability and waterproofness. My task was to follow the manufacturing process from start to finish, watching the boots being made, learning more about how the Gore-Tex membrane works inside the footwear and gaining a sneak peek into how the finished boots are thoroughly tested. Once I had seen all this in action, it would be time to take part in some outdoor activities designed to truly put a pair to the test. First stop on the tour was the Lowa footwear factory in Jetzendorf, one of Gore’s brand partners. Lowa boots vary in style and purpose with designs used for a range of activities from a gentle weekend walk in the park through to mountain trekking in the Alps.

For further information regarding GORE-TEX® Footwear, retail support and training contact Angela Robb on 01506 460123 or email

But the one thing every boot containing Gore-Tex must have in common is that each one fulfills that guarantee to keep the wearer dry. The visit included a detailed factory tour, where I was shown some of the different components which make up a pair of trekking boots (each pair is made up of 160 different pieces) and how they fit together to make the finished article. This was also the chance to find out about the many different styles available, the materials used and the different processes – some still done by hand and others by machine – which go into creating the perfect pair.

Out on a Limb reporter Christina Eccles enjoys her ride on a camel.

The following day started with a visit to the Gore-Tex Footwear Centre of Excellence, which was a great opportunity to find out how the boots I saw being made the previous day are fitted with Gore-Tex technology. A tour of the product testing laboratory showed me not only component and laminate testing but also three comprehensive construction tests that each prototype pair is put through to ensure they are completely waterproof and breathable. One thing pointed out to me was that each shoe or boot is tested – and Gore never assume that if the right shoe is OK then the left will be too. One of the component tests I saw in action was the Wicking Test. This ensures that every component which makes up a shoe is water repellent. This is a crucial test, as it is not only the Gore-Tex lining that is vital for durably waterproof shoes, but also the other materials used for the shaft of the shoe such as laces, threads, outer leathers and foams. If these components aren’t water repellent than they will absorb water by a natural capillary action and water could then be drawn up inside the shoe. The Walking Simulator was the

The ne machi waterp is a m only o mass somet must d licence

A shoe amoun will req are pla spins v there a shows test, is are in

This te are an up wet that th a sale

The fin This te




Page 2

which bears your brand name is 100 per cent waterproof and on A Limb reporter Christina Eccles flew to Germany to put

ccess based y promises first construction test I saw. Shoes or boots were placed onto flexible, artificial feet which are equipped with sensors; depending on the end use of the product they can take up to 300,000 steps in a water bath. This is the same as walking over 300 miles across a wet meadow or through a stream. If water enters the shoe during the test, the machine stops and an LED would show the lab technician exactly where the water has entered. This test does not determine why the product is leaking only where. This is a very time consuming test and is only used for prototypes. To determine why a leak has occurred, the product has to be cut in two. Working together in partnership with the host brand, the fault is then identified and corrected.

sit to

oots I are

ratory and

that h to proof

that Gore oe is

w in

ich nt.


o the of outer

ter by er e the

The next test was the centrifuge machine. This also tests waterproofness of the construction but is a much quicker test and is used not only on prototypes but also during mass production testing, which is something that each brand partner must do as part of their GoreGORE licence. A shoe or boot is filled with a relevant amount of water (kids shoes obviously will require less due to the size) they are placed in the machine and then it spins very very fast for 30 mins, if there are any holes, the blotting paper shows up wet. The difference with the test, is that the shoes can be dried and are in a saleable condition. This test lasts for 30 minutes – if there are any holes the blotting paper shows up wet. The difference with the test is that the shoes can be dried and are in a saleable condition. The final test was the Comfort Test. This test measures the rate and level at

which moisture vapour can come through the upper. It also ensures that all the breathable components are working together without any compromise. The shoe or boot is lined with Gore-Tex membrane – this represents your skin – the product is then filled with water, weighed and a heater is placed inside. The top is closed so that any moisture vapour only escapes through the upper of the shoe and not the opening. The products are left in the climatically controlled chamber for a day. They are then weighed again after the duration required and the difference shows breathability of the entire product. The final, most action packed part of the trip gave me a chance to put my pair of Lowa boots to the test. And what better way than to head out in to the elements to brave snow, mud and water and a slightly bumpy camel ride! In today’s fast moving world, where trends are constantly changing and the next big thing is never far away, it is very easy for the customer to pick a pair of shoes up from the shelf without really thinking about where they originated or the lengths manufacturers have gone to deliver those promises we see on their branding. This trip taught me to look further into the process to see exactly how much work goes into making a pair of boots and how companies go that extra mile to combine style and comfort with functional, hard wearing footwear, which does exactly what it promises to do. During the testing, the boots were really put through their paces and I was pleased to report that after a slightly nervous start, not only did I manage not to fall off the camel, but my feet also stayed 100 per cent dry!

Did you know...?  The Gore promise states that each pair of shoes which feature Gore-Tex product technology bears the brand name is guaranteed to keep you dry.  A single pair of Lowa boots containing the Gore-Tex membrane is made up of a 160 components.  One pair of boots goes through three different tests to check for waterproofness, breathability and climate comfort.  The Gore-Tex membrane is made up of billions of pores that are 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water meaning water cannot penetrate.  At the same time, they are 700 times larger than a water vapour molecule, which means perspiration can easily escape.




Page 1




Page 1

product showcase product showcase product showcase

Brand Chatham extends range launches foldable wellies AWARD-winning footwear manufacturer Chatham Marine has unveiled its autumn winter 2013 collection.

It is launching an extended range of waterproof leather country boots and shoes, with on-trend designs coupled with comfort and grip.

LUXURY Wellington brand Le Chameau has launched its first ever range of foldable boots. The brand – which has handmade rubber boots since 1927 and is loved by the Royals – will bring a revolutionary new design in to the SS13 collection which makes it foldable and easy to carry. The style will be available in Marine Blue and Black and packs away into its own carrying bag – it also features the hard wearing and comfortable jersey lining, with a flat, non-slip sole. The brand makes its boots at a factory in Northern France and was the first company to put a full-length zip in a rubber boot to enhance fit and add convenience.

New accounts Product showcase

The benefits of buying British Page 20



MUSTANG Shoes is reporting opening 90 new UK accounts since January and had a sell out range for Autumn Winter. The shoe and denim brand, founded in 1932, sells in over 45 countries. UK sales manager David Rudd said: “In the first year alone we have opened around 90 accounts, and we have had a hugely successful sell out for A/W 12. We are now developing new styles for the UK market and driving forward in raising the brand awareness. Like some other brands we do not sell direct to the public, we firmly believe supporting our retailers, not competing with them.” The brand will be showing its A/W collections at all the major show fairs around Europe.

Highlights include the ladies Morgan ankle boot which has an innovative and sturdy sole and features luxurious under foot padding, for extra comfort.

For men, the Orwell desert boot features a sticky rubber sole and additional under foot foam padding. Chatham managing director Philip Marsh said: “Product innovation is critical to growth in the marketplace. As brand awareness continues to increase, we forecast year on year growth in excess of 40 per cent. “These new collections for winter 2013 are a great opportunity to continue the momentum with our distributors and retailers.”




Page 1

product showcase product showcase product showcase

Back to School range is biggest success SUPERFIT has established itself as a trusted manufacturer and supplier of children’s footwear in the UK and Ireland and the biggest success is their Back to School range. The 2013 BTS range will offer shoes for all school ages – reception, infants, primary and secondary and comprise of 20 styles in sizes 2542. The favourite styles from the existing range are back for 2013 and are joined by a new group for Boys ‘Fynn’ in four styles and produced on the WMS wide last, it offers the traditional school look for the UK and Ireland with a flexible good gripping sole for children who like to be active. There is also a new ballerina pump style older girls which is offered in three colours. The range is produced in high quality

durable nappa leathers with leather or textile linings, five styles are offered with GORE-TEX® to give a guaranteed waterproof and breathable shoe for feet that will be active for up to nine hours a day. All shoes have a removable insole. The 2013 range is available to order now and will be able to be delivered from June 2013 onwards. To view the range contact Marcus Baker on 07775 995547 or email

Petasil and back to school equals guaranteed sales PETASIL has fast become known amongst discerning retailers for its immensely popular Back to School range, which always delivers strong sales. The range has returned with surefire favourites Bonnie, Beth, Babs and Bea, as well as other proven best sellers and new innovative designs. Classic brogue styling is big news for both boys and girls. Styles such as Everest, Meecha and Claret are both fashionable and functional and are certain to be a winner with Mums and kids alike. All Petasil shoes are designed and manufactured in Europe, the vast majority in Portugal. Every piece of footwear is crafted from leather, inside and out to allow young feet to breathe and develop healthily. The soles for our Back to School range

are specially developed to combine the extra durability needed for school as well as comfort. Petasil takes pride in providing kids with fun, funky and functional footwear. All Petasil footwear is crafted from the finest quality leather and the soles are produced to be as soft and flexible as possible. Shoes are manufactured for children aged 0-10 years in sizes 19-39. Stockists are also encouraged to like the Petasil facebook page and post their details as the following is growing and now

Refreshingly new ranges put Garvalin to the top of the class GARVALIN believe choosing the right shoe for babies and children is hugely important as their feet need to feel comfortable to carry them safely through their lifetime. At back-to-school time, when


December/January 2012/13

children need to be in their footwear for long periods, this is even more important. Shoes must look good and on trend to impress their friends, but need the comfort and fit for the safety of their feet.

Garvalin tick all the boxes and go to top of the class. Both the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2013 ranges for dependable Garvalin, ultra-healthy Biomecanic and wow-factor Agatha Ruiz De La

Including Back to School and Kool for Kids

Prada brands, promise to be refreshingly new and just what you need to light up your shelves. They take you from tot-to-teen with fantastic profit margins and in stock too.





Page 1

product showcase product showcase product showcase

City collection arrives TREDFLEX has celebrated its continued success of the current Tredflex range with the arrival of the City collection. Originally planned for AW13, but brought forward following requests for some formal product the collection will be available for Spring Summer 13.

New range features Johnson

incorporating the Air pocket technology and 3 system sock making these the ideal choice for more formal wear, while still maintaining all the essential comfort aspects of the original Tredflex range.

IKON Footwear maintain its goal of supplying classically designed shoes but with individual styling that appeals to the fashion conscious man. A design from the new collection is Johnson - a three-eyelet lace classic wing cap formal shoe with contemporary bordo leather linings available in Black and Dark Tan.

The City range features a mixture of traditional classic Oxfords and Brogue shoes with an element of contemporary design using hi-shine rub-off and Calf leathers.

Primarily aimed at the customer where premium formal footwear is still a requirement within the place of business or occasion/evening wear, offering a level of comfort not normally associated with this type of product.

Utilising a slimmed down version of the original Tredflex Rubber sole

Contact: Tredflex on

Product showcase

Trade Price: £24, sale price £55. Website: Telephone: 02476 324670

Men’s Footwear

December/January 2012/13





Page 1

A mum who started making handbags on her kitchen table has been named as the winner of a global design award – and she manufactures everything in the UK. Nicola Hyde reports.

The gap between Chinese manufacturing and Made In Britain is narrowing. Tony Linford, of the Florida Group which heads up the Van Dal brand, considers why.

The benefits of buying British

Harry Potter inspired firm scoops global design award JULIE Dean was a mum who wanted to raise a bit of extra money to send her daughter to a new school.

Using Harry Potter as inspiration, the first designs for the Cambridge Satchel Company were crafted on Julie’s kitchen table. Since then, the company has had a meteoric rise to fame with designs now stocked in over 100 countries across the globe.

With her story shown in the recent Google Chrome ad, The Cambridge Satchel Company is now a 62person enterprise, and is forecasting a turnover of £10 million for this year. Julie says she is committed to preserving British manufacturing – despite enormous pressure to satisfy


December/January 2012/13

In the last year or two there has been a surge in interest for Made in England footwear principally from emerging markets such as Russia, China and the Middle East as well as more mature economies like Japan.

Most significantly the major high street retailers are also now beginning to tap into this trend and are scrambling to be among the first to be associated with an upturn in UK made footwear and clothing.

The satchels – all handmade in a factory in Leicestershire – have been spotted on celebrities like Alexa Chung, Zooey Deschanel and Elle Fanning and have appeared in prime time TV shows like Mad Men and Gossip Girl.

She said: “Winning the award means the world to everybody at The Cambridge Satchel Company. To have been included in the same breath as finalists such as Marc Jacobs and Kurt Geiger was in itself a great honour. Winning was more than we could ever have hoped for.”

China in particular has wide ranging economic challenges when it comes to manufacturing and whilst we are not quite on a par today, the cost differential between an Asian made and a British made product is narrowing. Over and above this British Made can represent both value for money and an emotionally engaging option.

Most recently however that interest has extended to the UK public who themselves are beginning to recognise the hidden social costs that we are now carrying associated with the general demise in manufacturing in this country over the last 30 years.

Back in 2008 her daughter, then six, was being bullied and Julie wanted to move her – so investing just £600 she decided to create a business making satchels for the schoolchildren of Cambridge.

Now, Julie had added another feather to her cap after winning the title of Best Footwear and Accessories Design Team at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards at a glitzy ceremony in the Savoy Hotel.

THE long held assumption that the solution to all issues is to be found in the Far East is coming under increasing scrutiny.

No doubt their expensive PR companies and research gurus are telling them that the British public are indeed interested in British made goods.

Tony Linford

Life is unfortunately not so simple. Even if we could assume an increase in demand the reality is that supplying this is complex. In the footwear industry for example it would be nigh on impossible to replace the golden age of shoe-making. In broad terms the local supply chain of old has been decimated, adding significant complexity and the inevitable result of a contracting industry is the loss of a skilled workforce. That cannot be replaced so easily. So it’s a different kind of challenge and whilst we are unlikely to see rampant growth, a cautious and pragmatic approach can still allow us to grasp opportunity as it presents and that can only be a good thing.

Firm extends service Julie Dean with her award.

demand with an overseas production model – and she has ensured that each stage in producing every bag sold has taken place on British soil. The quirky colourful leather satchels made from bovine leather are modelled on the 1970s’ original are now stocked in Selfridges and Dover Street Market, and the company has collaborated with Commes des Garcons at Paris Fashion Week and, more recently, with Christopher Shannon for unique spring/summer 2012 capsule collection. Around 450 bags a day are made by hand, and there are plans to double the size of the factory to allow an increase in production.

A COMPANY which manufactures baby shoes has widened its service to lend out its skilled technicians to other companies. Early Days – based in Leicester – offer over 100 styles of baby shoes including pram shoes, christening shoes and first walkers but has diversified by offering other companies cutting, closing and embroidery services. A spokesman said: “The key to the companies success is undoubtedly its dedicated and skilled workforce all of whom have worked for the company for a minimum 20 years and many way beyond this. “The advantages of importing from the likes of China are definitely

reducing and with prices of most commodities increasing this trend looks set to continue and companies that have retained their skilled staff are now very well placed for a revival of UK manufacturing.” Manufactured in the UK




Page 1

The Countess of Wessex with some of the team at Hotter Comfort Concept (left) and checking out the finished product.

Royal visit for footwear manufacturer ONE of the UK’s biggest footwear manufacturers is celebrating after a royal visitor paid them a visit. The Countess of Wessex visited Hotter Comfort Concept’s factory in Lancashire last month where one in every three pairs of the brand’s shoes are made. Her Royal Highness met staff in the company’s UK and USA customer service centres and was introduced to the team behind Hotter’s retail expansion programme – which has spearheaded the opening of over 35 stores in the past two years.

Founder Stewart Houlgrave said: “We were delighted to welcome our Royal visitor and show her the passion and pride of our very British brand. “The Countess was a wonderfully charming guest, who was genuinely interested in what we were doing and took time to speak with many of our staff, immediately putting them at their ease. “Everyone was delighted to have the honour of such a distinguished visitor at our headquarters and the seven longest serving staff who were

Made in England since 1936 WITH sales of its Made in England shoes growing Van Dal have once again returned with a range of shoes made in its Norwich factory. One of this season’s favourite courts Holkham comes in four gorgeous colours and is a great partner to autumn’s star performer Holt. A peep toe court Holkham is a D fitting court that comes in four fantastic colours and feature leather material options, but also has the added bonus of a removable trim which comes pre-packed with each pair. With more available to purchase the choice is there to buy

one pair of shoes and have up to five different looks. Holkham retails for £90 and is available in a D fitting with 75mm heel. For more information on Van Dal contact the sales team on 01603 787100 or visit

Successful year for brand NEW Balance EMEA region has seen a significant growth in sales over the past 12 months with growth forecast at 20 per cent for this year. The company produced 1.2 million shoes a year at its factory in Flimby, Cumbria and has demand for its hand-crafted lifestyle shoes extending to Japan and China. Graham Dicken, New Balance’s marketing manager EMEA region, said: “The guiding principle of domestic manufacturing stands at the heart of New Balance’s corporate policy and we are proud to be celebrating the landmark of 30 years of manufacturing in Britain. “UK manufacturing is experiencing a renaissance. This throws the Manufactured in the UK

spotlight on to our own unyielding dedication to domestic production which provides the dynamo for sustainable growth and offers the brand the distinctive cachet: ‘Made in Britain’.” For more information email

introduced to Her Royal Highness have already said that meeting her was the highlight of their combined 263 years’ service.” Hotter manufactures 1.6 million pairs of stylish comfort shoes each year in its Lancashire factory. Stewart added: “We are fiercely proud of our British heritage and we invest and reinvest in development and new technology to continually improve.” The Hotter brand was founded in the early 1990s by Stewart Houlgrave

whose parents set up Beaconsfield Footwear as a slipper manufacturer in 1959. The company initially sold shoes direct to customers via its onsite customer service centre and online. It embarked on an ambitious store opening programme in 2010 – with 47 due to be open across the UK by the end of 2012. Hotter now manufactures 1.6 million pairs of shoes in its Lancashire factory – making it the UK’s biggest shoe maker.

Overseas interest in Made in Britain ethos growing UK FOOTWEAR manufacturers are experiencing a boom in interest from overseas buyers – particularly China – thanks to the growth of the Made In Britain ethos. Marketing consultant David Buchanan said Chinese buyers are particularly interested in premium brands that manufacture in the UK. He said: “Having set my sights earlier this year on building a business working with UK brands who by the nature of things will be bringing product in from the Far East and in my case selling the majority on line it came as a bit of a surprise to be approached to work on sourcing premium brands to sell to China. “I was deep in discussion over lunch about various issues including those affecting the footwear trade and one of the group bemoaned the fact that there was very little opportunity to buy British when it comes to footwear so I gave them a list of names that we all know of albeit pricey exceptions that they could try.” The buyers are looking to stock the premium department stores in

Shanghai and are looking to aim at the burgeoning middle class of Chinese consumers. David added: “China is a fascinating market. Essentially communist and heavily state controlled but with 2.7m millionaires with an average age of only 39 with unlike the west the majority of luxury good being purchased by the under 45s it has great potential for the right brand with, most importantly, the right contacts and channels to market to make a significant and profitable impact. “I am in the initial discussion stages with a very well known premium UK footwear brand to work with them to break in to this market. I genuinely feel that this region, for the right brand, could be extremely lucrative for UK exports. As the Chinese economy continues to grow at rates we can only dream of in the UK the size of the market opening up for premium brands is very exciting indeed. It also feels very good from a patriotic perspective, albeit in a small way to be sending some shipping containers back across the ocean filled with the best of British brands.” December/January



Page 1



Miss Milly ends the year on a high note

Strange jewellery goes on display AN EXHIBITION showcasing the most unconventional examples of jewellery and accessories is running at the Design Museum until March. The ‘Unexpected Pleasures’ showcase looks at the contemporary movement which started in the late 1970s and – with new processes, materials and experimentation – led to a new outlook. A spokesman said: “Can a ring manufactured to mimic a finger blister be considered a thing of beauty? Does the migration of the iPod from the pocket to the lapel

cross the role of industrial designer with jeweller? “Does plastering gold leaf to the gums mean the beginning of true self-expression and the ‘end of the trend’?” The exhibition was curated by jewellery designer and maker Dr. Susan Cohn and features the work of Wendy Ramshaw, renowned for her complex geometric designs, and Hans Stofer who trained in Precision Engineering and produces irreverent, intricate wire form jewellery.

Trade show cancelled ORGANISERS of the jewellery and accessory trade show Chic have cancelled the January edition of the show due to ‘family circumstances.’ Organiser Mark Greenhalgh says Chic is a family run business but they had taken the difficult decision to cancel the next edition of the show – which has been running for almost two decades – because problems have made it impossible to dedicate the time needed to making it a success. Mark added: “We are a close family and our current circumstances would mean that the January Chic 22 December/January 2012/13

show would not get the care and attention required to be effective for both exhibitors and visitors. “We are not in the business to hold exhibitions that don’t meet everyone’s expectations so rather than damage the reputation of the show we have made the decision to cancel. We have already been overwhelmed with kind messages and offer our sincere apologies to everyone effected.” All exhibitors and suppliers have been informed and refunded deposits paid for the event. Chic will continue in July 2013.

COLOURFUL accessories brand Anna Nova has signed up a new UK distributor. The brand has signed an exclusive trading deal with Miss Milly for the UK and Ireland for its range of wallets, purses and journals. The new arrangement replaces Anna Nova’s direct selling operation and means a focus on independent retailers for 2013. Miss Milly spokesman Sarah Watmore said: “It was an easy decision for us to take on the distribution. “I’ve admired the purses since meeting the company at their first UK trade show in 2010. I strongly believe that the accessories fit very well with our jewellery collections, and am very excited about launching the new season’s ranges in the new year.” Anna Nova’s products are made from polyurethane in Australia and has two collections a year.




Page 1

Retailers need more than ecommerce By Ian Tomlinson Ecommerce is often seen as the saviour of retail, unlimited customers, huge growth potential. This is of course the case, but rather than competing with the same footwear retailers in your town or high street you are now competing against footwear retailers literally all over the world. So how do you get your ecommerce site to stand out? Well, of course you can ‘optimise’ your website. This is when you positively influence the position of your website in Google, so it appears as high as possible. But there are other ‘online’ channels that footwear retailers should be looking at, namely eBay and Amazon. eBay and Amazon are the two largest websites in the UK and their influence is growing. According to Retail Week their combined market share is one fifth of the UK’s ecommerce market. Many retailers have started selling on both these sites, as it is relatively cheap to start up. However, what stops many moving across to these channels is that it is another sales channel to manage and it is time consuming to upload product information and

Business + Technology

Ian Tomlinson

stock levels. Web-based retail systems, such as Cybertill, allow real time integration into eBay and Amazon so when stock is sold the products are removed. But what’s more they allow retailers to ‘click and sell’ as they can upload product information (such as images, stock levels, product description) at the touch of a button. Today, independent footwear retailers need to be seen beyond their high street, and this is true of online as well. eBay and Amazon are perfect sales channels for retailers to generate additional revenue for their business whilst extending their reach.  Ian Tomlinson is chief executive of Cybertill.

Ecommerce and Retail

December/January 2012/13





Page 1

The illegal CE marking of slippers By Jack Brown It is quite common to see a CE Mark affixed to a children’s “novelty” slipper. A child’s slipper with a high degree of play value and resembling a soft toy such as a teddy bear or rabbit does arguably look like a toy and could be used as one by a child. Therefore, even though the primary function of the slipper is for foot protection, there may be a case for classifying the slipper as a toy, testing it under the toy safety requirements and consequently CE Marking the product under the Toy Safety Directive. By affixing the CE marking onto a child’s slipper, a manufacturer is declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements of the Toy Safety Directive which also involves, amongst other things, carrying out a safety assessment, keeping a technical file and writing a declaration of conformity. If the decision is taken that the novelty slipper does not have a play value and is therefore not a toy, the slipper may still be tested to toy safety standards as part of the


December/January 2012/13

manufacturer’s quality assurance process to show how the slipper complies with the requirements of The General Product Safety Directive. Footwear tests in addition to the toy safety standards may also be needed, for example, slip resistance. In such cases, a CE Mark should NOT be applied. Where the slipper has no play value and will not be played with as a toy (for example a slipper with a welded motif on the front such as Spiderman or Superman), then not only is it inappropriate to CE Mark the slipper, it is actually illegal to CE Mark the product that does not fall within the scope of a CE Marking Directive. Adult slippers are definitely not toys and do not fall under the Toy Safety Directive and therefore any adult slipper which is CE Marked (unless it contains electronic elements and therefore comes under the EMC Directive) is an illegally labelled product. Controlling CE marked products is the responsibility of public authorities in Member States.  Jack Brown is footwear technical consultant at Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services.

Pall-EX launches service FREIGHT distribution network Pall-EX has launched a new service especially for the fashion retail sector.

deliveries within the M25 corridor allow for pallets to be delivered at night when pedestrian zones are often open to drive down.

The company, owned by TV Dragon and entrepreneur Hilary Devey, is pitching the Retail Plus+ bespoke service to bring cost saving benefits to some of the biggest names in retail.

“By offering a full service solution, Pall-Ex aren’t running a ‘drop and go’ service. As the pallets are taken directly into the storeroom, unwrapped and the pallet base is removed all at the same time, staff are not diverted from the shop floor.

It offers timed deliveries into retail outlets and deliveries outside of normal trading hours. A spokesman said: “Retail Plus+ was designed to counteract distribution issues that many retailers, especially based in city centres, complained of. Timed

“The service proves far more efficient and economical for retailers, as their floor team’s time isn’t used working in the storeroom. There is also no need for a separate recycling contract, as all of this is taken care of by the Retail Plus+ service.”

An event which looked at the business side of the fashion industry was held by Harbottle & Lewis and the Barclays Female Client Group. The panel discussion featured Sarah Curran, founder of, designer Anna Valentine and management consultant and former Executive VP of Gucci Group, Mimma Viglezio. Harbottle & Lewis spokesman Sandi Simons said: “It was wonderful to have such an interesting and experienced panel of speakers who were able to give a real insight into the issues facing those within the fashion industry from varying perspectives.” Pictured right: Sarah Curran, founder of

Ecommerce and Retail

Business + Technology




Page 1

Exhibitors to showcase solutions at EuroCIS MORE than 240 exhibitors from 25 countries will be showcasing retail technology solutions at the EuroCIS fair in Dusseldorf.

Next year’s show will look at the growth in the IT segment and the development of modern shopping formats.

The event – from February 19-21 – will have a special showcase on radio technology RFID – ensuring goods can be identified all along the value added chain without physical or line of sight contact.

EuroCIS 2013 is the network for all professionals working and living for IT success in the retail sector.

According to Rüdiger Hulla, project manager at the IT supplier Futura Retail Solution, Stelle/Hamburg, the possibilities offered by RFID are far from being fully exploited. He added: “When retailers know where each individual item is located at any given time aspects like age assessment and optimum goods presence offer the greatest potential.” In 2012, EuroCIS impressively confirmed its position as the leading European trade fair for retail technology boasting 6,405 visitors.

Business + Technology

More than ever, mobile technologies will be the focus for next year – they range from various mobile payment and mobile marketing technologies to the tablets and iPad software for retail staff and the new generations of MDE equipment. Solutions for the realisation of multi-channel strategies as well as interactive and connected in-store communication will also figure among the trend subjects at the fair. In this context, the focus will also be on innovative business intelligence solutions for processing and analysing large data quantities from various channels. Visitors will also see other

highlights in areas such as RFID at the item level, self-service and cash management solutions, webbased integration of stores and head office, efficient loss prevention as well as intelligent personnel deployment planning. Following last year’s debut, there will again be the area “Fashion Select” in 2013, which presents companies specialising in IT solutions and services for the fashion industry. EuroCIS 2013 will be open to trade visitors daily from Tuesday, 19, to Thursday, 21 from 10am to 6pm. Thinking of visiting EuroCIS 2013? To obtain your e-ticket online click here and save over 30% on the cost of a day ticket purchased on the door (Euro 15 instead of Euro 22). The EuroCIS 2013 exhibitor list is full, but for information on how to exhibit in 2014 Brigitte Shepherd on or 01442 230033.

Ecommerce and Retail

Elke Moebius, Project Director EuroCIS 2013, Messe Düsseldorf “One reason for the success story of EuroCIS is that its range always seeks to cater for the needs and developments of the retail scene. For example, we expanded the EuroCIS portfolio with the area “Fashion Select”, which presents companies specialising in IT solutions and services for the fashion industry and fashion retail. With this step, we want to reflect an increasing trend towards networking in the fashion industry as well as the gradual disappearance of boundaries between procurement, production and distribution.”

December/January 2012/13





Page 1

diary dates



Panorama Berlin ExpoCenter Airport 15-17 January ( The new marketplace in Europe – international fashion fair. London Edge London Olympia, 25 -27 January ( The trade show for alternative street and club fashion, footwear, accessories and giftwear with over 300 collections available to view. ISPO Munich Neue Messe Mßnchen, 3-6 February The international trade fair for sports equipment and fashion. Over 2,000 international exhibitors present the complete selection of sporting goods, athletic footwear and fashions from the Outdoor, Ski, Action and Performance Sports to more than 80,000 visitors. Pure Olympia London,10-12 February ( A showcase of over 1,000 directional womenswear brands, young creative labels, footwear and accessory collection plus inspiring seminars and catwalks. Footwear Industry Awards Sunday 17 February ( Organised by Datateam Business Media, in association with the British Footwear Association, Independent Footwear Retailers Association, Society of Shoe Fitters and Footwear Today magazine, the Footwear Industry Awards will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum.





Page 1




Page 1

Out On A Limb  

The trade magazine for the UK's footwear and accessories market