Both of these Italian brands had a stand in the Players District, a new section of Micam, the world's largest footwear trade show, held in Milan last week, in a bid to enlarge their distribution in the growing lifestyle segment of the outdoor footwear market. A similar trend has been taking place in the athletic footwear market, where the lifestyle segment has been growing faster than the performance segment, driven by strong demand for comfortable sneakers of all kinds.
Garmont, the fast-growing Italian outdoor brand, showed a lighter and more comfortable version for everyday use of its Rangers collection, the heavy-duty leather boots that it supplies to rangers who are protecting wild species from poaching in South African reserves.
The technical line has been recognized as one of the best types of outdoor boots used by the U.S. military. As part of its contract with the South African rangers, who walk long distances in the bush, Garmont has pledged to invest more than €500,000 over several years to help educate school children in African rural communities to build a career in wildlife conservation.
Among the other models by Garmont on display at the shoe fair was the Tikal, a sneaker with an upper made from a single piece of Italian leather and a cotton-lined coconut fiber insole. The Tikal also uses cork and EVA, for increased comfort.
CMP is already selling some of its more accessible styles to shoe retailers, particularly in areas where there are no sporting goods stores that would compete with them. The brand of Fratelli Campagnolo, which is mainly known for its apparel, has been building its footwear collection since it was launched five years ago under the management of Paolo Martignon, who previously worked for Asolo and Lowa.
Aside from its first shoe for Nordic walking, which features a Vibram sole, it is introducing an outdoor shoe in nubuck leather that retails for €129, while all its other models are priced at a maximum of €99 per pair, with a mark-up of 2.3 for the retailers. About one-third of the 80 styles in the company's footwear range are for children.
CMP sold 450,000 pairs of shoes in the first half of this year, and orders for the spring/summer 2020 collection are up by 30 percent. The segment contributed 20 percent of CMP's total sales of €124 million last year.
The new sports-oriented section of Micam, which also included fewer outdoor-oriented brands like Lotto and Joma, can be regarded as a counterpoint to the initiatives taken by Pitti Uomo, the menswear fair in Florence, in the areas of sports and outdoor clothing (see the article on Goldwin in this issue).
Another new section of the Milan shoe show dedicated to start-ups included an interesting new brand of urban outdoor footwear, Naglev, that we have already talked about. Launched in Montebelluna by a former owner of Garmont, Achille Morlin, and his daughter Elettra, it uses a wool sock and other natural materials with no seams inside the Unico shoe. A trail-running model will come out next year.
The coconut fiber sole has an outer shell made of Kevlar. Naglev claims that it is the only outdoor company in the world to have signed a license with DuPont to use the Kevlar by DuPont label.
Naglev is finalizing a distribution contracts for Austria, Germany and Sweden. It has been working with the City Hands Company in South Korea since 2017. In the U.S., the brand is sold through Huckberry, an online shop with its own outdoor journal for members only.