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Sanuk Kicks It Up a Notch

Sanuk, the surf footwear brand known for its irreverent prints and disruptive silhouettes—namely its sidewalk surfers with spongy rubber outsoles and canvas uppers—is shaking up its own line-up with its first-ever range of women’s vulcanized footwear for Spring ’15.

Call the blurring of surf and street a sign of the times, as shoppers across the country flock to brands like Brandy Melville, Aviator Nation and Sanuk to capture the casual, relaxed styling of Southern California and its beach culture. Couple that SoCal movement with sneakers’ increasing influence on fashion and brands like Sanuk could find itself cruising into Spring ’15 on a wave of good fortune.

Sanuk global vice president Ethan Anderson said, “We did a series of customer insights over the last year and an overwhelming number of customers said that by and large, our sandals and slipper sandals are great for the day, but if we could bring that styling and comfort to more substantial shoes, then they would be open to wearing Sanuk all day and into the evening.”

The vulcanized styles, coined the Kat collection, reinforces the comfort Sanuk’s sidewalk surfers are known for, but offers a more street-friendly option for a whole set of customers that may not gravitate toward the surfer’s distinct bohemian look. The line features three slim, pointed toe silhouettes, including a casual bootie-inspired style with a higher vamp, an updated take on a classic ballet flat and a backless slip-on. The bootie, in particular, is getting a great response from buyers, Anderson noted.

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Sanuk, in general, is receiving positive feedback from retailers, which Anderson said is owed partly to the brand’s healthy, happy ethos. And fueling those good vibes is Sanuk’s Yoga Sling, a lightweight sandal with a footbed made from real yoga mat material. For spring, the company is expanding its yoga range with sleek ballet flats with yoga mat comfort pods in the footbed.

Anderson said, “Its awesome because there’s a whole other phenomenon out there and the yoga sandals and ballet flats tap into the feeling of living a healthy lifestyle, but really it’s a feeling of being joyful.”

Expect to see more new constructions for Fall 2015, including a new yoga flat with an upper that is sewn to the sole inside out, and then turned inside in. “It looks like a European dance shoe,” Anderson described. The company is also gearing up to launch a more premium and limited range of the Kat collection made with full grain leather.

Anderson added, “As the brand continues to evolve and be exposed to new customers we always want to keep Sanuk’s DNA intact. Everything is light hearted and our tag line ‘Never Uncomfortable’ extends beyond the feeling of the product. Its an actual feeling and attitude.”