Footwear Plus Shoesday Tuesdays: Minnetonka Launches Upscale Line



Footwear Plus Shoesday Tuesdays: Minnetonka Launches Upscale Line






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You know a brand has cultural caché when it gets a plug in fashion guru and Project Runway host Nina Garcia’s book of 100 items every woman must own. So it should come as no surprise to style mavens that Minnetonka Moccasin, maker of the classic suede slippers, is launching Minnetonka Turquoise, a new luxe line that will be available at independent shoe stores, boutiques, and select department stores by Spring ’11.

“We’ve had so much success with Minnetonka that we wanted to expand the brand and offer a little more upscale version,” says company CEO David Miller of the new collection, which gives the brand’s beaded, fringed, and tassled aesthetic a more refined edge.

Minnetonka’s loyal customers will be pleased to see the company’s commitment to comfort hasn’t been neglected in the trendy new silhouettes—fringed gladiator sandals, zippered thongs, and ballerina flats come in materials like velvet suede and buttersoft leather. And rich colors—like scarlet, plum and shiny metallics—help move the line beyond the casual weekend wear category. “Women recognize that not everything in their casual wardrobe is appropriate for every occasion,” Miller says. “For example, what you wear to a client meeting might be more refined than what you would wear on an ordinary day in the office. With this in mind, our goal was to round out that woman’s shoe wardrobe with new moccasin-inspired styles.”

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Minnetonka Turquoise

The company long ago blossomed beyond its modest resort-wear origins and iconic thunderbird moccasin, but Miller says Minnetonka’s international customers help keep the brand—and the new line—true to the original vision. “Our international customers really look at Minnetonka as an authentic U.S. lifestyle brand. They love Americana—and it reminds us of who we really are.”

With all of the celebrities and models recently snapped sporting Minnetonka, it may seem like Turquoise is simply capitalizing on its current wave of popularity, but Miller insists that the timing is simply coincidental. “The brand has always been around and been loved by celebrities all along the way,” he explains. “Moccasins represent a lifestyle that many people really embrace. It may be more ratcheted up at this point in time, but it’s been pretty consistent out there in the eye of the consumer.”

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