After 50 strong years in the European market, and with an increasingly quality-savvy American audience, Italian rubber boot manufacturer G&G is ready to test U.S. market with a new brand, Italian Rain Boots Inc. debuting at FFANY.
Born from the passion of Italian pioneer Giovanni Boscaglia, who engineered the rain boot manufacturing machines that leading rain boot brands continue to use today, the company has built a reputation for combining fashionable designs with Italian-made materials.
As the brand’s U.S. representative Gentian Blloshmi noted, Italian Rain Boots uses the same materials high-end brands like Burberry use for waterproof footwear—but without the price tag designer labels bring with it.
“We are trying the American market because it is a time when people are not very interested in just the brand. They are interested in the quality,” Blloshmi said.
And with the right consumer, Blloshmi said the appeal of an Italian “no name” rain boot will overshadow the luster of a designer boot made in China. One of the advantages the company has as a European brand, he explained, is more stringent regulations on chemicals and materials than China and the U.S. The line is 100 percent phthalate-free, which Blloshmi noted is responsible for the odor that usually accompanies rubber footwear.
“More than half of the rain boots imported to the U.S. from China would not be able to be sold in Europe,” he said. “Our boots are 100 percent recyclable and can be turned into other boots.”
For Spring ’16, key styles include a heel rain boot with translucent prints, like florals, leopard, plaid and lace. The brand also offers more traditional tall boots in solid shades of green, gray and black. Retailers can also place orders for boots with liners for added warmth.
The company will launch a new sneaker/boot hybrid to key into America’s love for sport fashion. For kids, Italian Rain Boots plays up the category’s fun factor with denim print boots and multicolor zigzags. The entire line retails for under $100.
Blloshmi said to understand the difference between Italian-made rain boots and boots from China, consumers (and retailers) must feel the product. It is why he is targeting small independents who can dedicate the time and shelf space needed to tell Italian Rain Boots’ story. “Department store are good, but they don’t grow attached to the products. It’s the small details that help sell the boots,” he added.