Red Wing, the Minnesota-based boot brand, is launching a women’s heritage collection for fall.
The label, which was founded in 1905, has produced a men’s heritage collection in the U.S. since 2007. Although it only accounts for around 10 percent of the company’s overall business, the collection has elevated the label into a new, more fashionable sphere. The heritage collection is sold at retailers including J. Crew and Nordstrom.
“It seems like there’s been a lot of interest in women wearing the heritage line, but they don’t fit very well,” said Allison Sweasy Gettings, the fourth generation of the family to run the business. “They’re built well, but there’s a long break-in period, which is a bit of a turnoff,” she said.
Red Wing is now offering up to nine styles in different colorways for a total of 24 pieces. The line will be introduced in New York in December in a hotel suite during the FFANY footwear show.
Gettings said there will be three distinct categories. The first is the two-piece legacy collection that is inspired by the line’s history. This will include the Gloria, a tall lace-up that Gettings said is the first model released for women in 1926. “It’s not huge volume, but it anchors us,” she said.
Then there’s the core collection, which will be similar to the styles offered for men but in a more comfortable construction. It includes moc-toe boots and the popular Iron Ranger, a six-inch lace-up with a cap toe that was “deconstructed and reconstructed,” she said.
The third category is the modern collection, which features a more “feminine twist” on the company’s boots. “It evolves our men’s collection and is more sophisticated,” she said.
The retail prices for the boots range from $290 to $550 and Red Wing is targeting independent specialty stores for initial distribution. “That’s how we built our men’s heritage business,” Gettings said, adding smaller stores are more suited to “effectively tell the story.”
She said she hopes the women’s heritage collection can eventually be “as big or bigger than the men’s. We haven’t done women’s in a meaningful way in the past.”