Equestrian sporting brand Ariat is getting into the larger consumer-facing game. The firm will launch Two24 – a line of men’s and women’s boots made for the street, rather than the stable – for fall 2016.
The line takes its name from the champion racehorse Secretariat’s world-record race time of two minutes and twenty-four seconds at the 1973 Belmont Stakes (Ariat itself is rooted in the legendary equine athlete’s name).
Two24’s inaugural collection includes a variety of takes on traditional equine footwear shapes, from field boots to paddock styles. Fabrications include simple polished leathers as well as spotted calf hair and brushed suede.
Beth Cross, Ariat’s chief executive officer, said of the line: “Riding boots are very technical — we have three levels of technology with riding boots and even just at the good level those boots come in about 80 different sizes…it’s just not practical for a person who wants that look for everyday…so after 20 years of people asking us for an interpretation of riding boots that are very classic and very traditional, we have gone back into the archives and designed some practical options.”
Cross estimates that with Two24’s distribution in Asia, Europe, and the United States, the collection could ultimately account for 10 percent of Ariat’s overall business.
Considering the riding boot style’s widespread dilution in mainstream assortments across all pricing categories, the ceo is looking forward to offering consumers a design that comes straight from a true equestrian source.
“In some ways, [riding boots] have become a commodity, with fits that are somewhat sloppy and a quality of leather that is entry level. But if you think about what riding boots have been throughout history, many of them were handmade with beautiful leathers. You need high quality. It allows a regular fashion customer to have an extra-accurate interpretation of a technical riding boot,” she said.