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American Exchange Sees Growth in Value Comfort Footwear

Trends may last a moment, but comfort is forever. And for American Exchange Group, betting on stylishly wearable shoes that people will reach for time after time seems like money in the bank.

One year on from its Aerosoles takeover, the New York City footwear and accessories design, manufacturing and wholesale firm now controls New England’s White Mountain Footwear Company. American Exchange, which also operates 13 private brands including American Exchange, Brooklyn Brothers, Alexis Bendel, Jessica Carlyle, Olivia & Kate and Skull Squad, said it’ll build on White Mountain’s 40-plus-year history of creating affordable women’s lifestyle footwear by leveraging the sourcing and production infrastructure it’s built around Aerosoles.

And the licensor of brands including Dr. Seuss, DC Comics, Kendall + Kylie, Mudd, Rocawear, and XOXO sees bigger distribution ahead for the flats, clogs, boots and mules maker, which is already sold through Amazon, DSW, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Shoe Carnival. Enhancing its own dot-com and direct-to-consumer business is at the top of the priority list for White Mountain.

Robert Geller, White Mountain’s chief revenue officer, said being under new ownership will “unlock a lot of value” and help the “value” brand expand into additional categories, although details on what those might be are scant. American Exchange chief strategy officer Steve Velasquez, however, suggested White Mountain may soon shed its image as a brand exclusively serving women.

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“This is an exciting time for our company as we see tremendous growth opportunities for White Mountain to expand beyond ladies’ footwear into additional product categories as well as opportunities in manufacturing, wholesale and licensing,” he said.

Recent news from Aerosoles points to what White Mountain can expect as part of the American Exchange family. The brand just announced an expansion into children’s footwear, making good on last year’s promise to add new categories after becoming part of its parent’s portfolio.

American Exchange Group CEO Alen Mamrout believes White Mountain’s “experienced executive leadership team”and long-tenured talent position the company as a valuable asset, considering Research and Markets pegged the comfort footwear market at around $47 billion by 2028.

“I look forward to seeing them bring that success, commitment and enthusiasm to Aerosoles,” he said.