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Allen Edmonds’ Virtual Trunk Show Lets Customers Customize Fan Faves

Though its sister brand Naturalizer has had to shut down 133 legacy stores, Allen Edmonds appears to be on better footing. On a November earnings call, Caleres chairman, CEO and then president Diane Sullivan even highlighted the upscale shoe brand’s new Park Avenue Oxford Sneaker, which she said was sold out and on back order.

Several months later, customers can now customize the Park Avenue sneaker, along with five other silhouettes, as part of an expanded virtual trunk show. Announced last week, the roughly two-week event will last until March 13 and allow for a widened range of materials, while also waiving the usual customization fee.

The event allows consumers to choose from six styles: the Park Avenue Oxford Sneaker, Strand Oxford Sneaker, Courtside Sneaker, Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxford, Strandmok Cap-Toe Oxford and Higgins Mill Boot. Once a style is chosen, participants can pick from a range of uppers—including exclusive options like camouflage leather and blue suede—and rubber sole colors. The limited-time trunk show will also encompass the brand’s extended sizing options, with the majority available in sizes from 6.5 to 15, and a variety of widths from B to EEE.

Allen Edmonds' expanded customization tool includes the brand's Park Avenue Oxford, Strand Oxford and Courtside sneakers.
Allen Edmonds’ expanded customization tool includes the brand’s Park Avenue Oxford, Strand Oxford and Courtside sneakers. Allen Edmonds

“Due to the high demand of our new sneaker styles and all-time favorites, we came up with the idea to create a one-time event where consumers can create the shoes of their dreams,” Brad Adams, Caleres’ senior vice president of heritage brands, said in a statement. “With multiple different styles, uppers and soles to choose from, consumers can perfectly create shoes that are completely original and express themselves.”

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Adams attributed Caleres’ ability to offer the custom styles to its factory in Port Washington, Wis. There, each shoe is individually created using the Allen Edmonds handcrafting process.

Allen Edmonds has, and always will, offer customization across its styles, it said. The ongoing trunk show allows current customers the chance to get creative with the brand’s more casual styles and sneakers, it noted.

Late last year, Caleres introduced a wave of leadership changes as it prepared to shift to a digitally led strategy moving forward. Among these appointments was the elevation of Jay Schmidt to company president. Most recently division president, Caleres Brand Portfolio, Schmidt took over from Sullivan, who has continued on as chairman and CEO.

The leadership reorganization also combined Caleres’ operating divisions under a “unified structure for growth,” the footwear stalwart said. The changes, it added, aim to strengthen consumer engagement, expand consumer insights, advance robust brand goals and awareness, harness creativity and further innovation.