Justin Timberlake-approved footwear will land in stores in time for the Fall ’15 shopping season.
William Rast, the men’s and women’s apparel brand co-founded by Timberlake and business partner Trace Ayala in 2005, is reinterpreting its Memphis-meets-Hollywood design aesthetic for its first line of men’s and women’s footwear.
Sourced, designed and distributed by Toronto, Canada-based Madison Fashion Group, the all-encompassing line (from sneakers to stilettos) touches on a number of key fall trends, while maintaining William Rast’s signature moto-inspired roots with hardware, stitching and aggressive outsoles.
“Out of the gate, we tried to include all of the specific trend items that William Rast is known for,” said Jason Applebaum, William Rast Footwear brand specialist. First and foremost, the design team zeroed in on the brand’s biker chic culture by applying grommet details, oversized hardware, chain details, rugged leathers and oily suede leathers to both men’s and women’s styles. Bold saw-tooth outsoles and pointed toe creeper bottoms balance the weighty looks.
As for current trends, fringe, which Applebaum said is a strong attribute of the brand, is drawing attention from buyers in the women’s segment. The embellishment shimmies across silhouettes spanning casual sneakers to tall shaft boots, as well as some men’s styles for a “tomahawk” feel that Applebaum noted is performing well. Other key men’s styles include two-tone boots made with antique finished leathers and a line of traditional dress shoes with double monk straps and brogueing.
Most of all, Applebaum said the line is getting its biggest reaction for its Nappa leathers and suede leathers, priced between $170-$225 for women’s, and $160-$225 for men’s. In terms of the line’s materials and quality, Applebaum noted, “This is where everyone tries to be.”
As for William Rast, the company, the pieces appear to be falling into place. The brand inked a deal with Lord & Taylor last year for its ready-to-wear line. And Applebaum sees opportunities for the footwear line to break into additional department stores and better, on-trend boutiques. He added, “This is the tip of the iceberg. The goal is to really have a global presence.”