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Hudson wins Ben Sherman licence

Young fashion footwear brand Hudson has been awarded a five-year licence for Ben Sherman footwear and plans to reposition the brand as a more premium line.

Hudson said it would bring the Ben Sherman footwear collection in line with its clothing, which has been moving towards a more premium positioning in the last 18 months. The lifestyle brand axed its own footwear operations in May to focus on its core men’s and women’s collections.

The first collection will launch for autumn 10 at Bread & Butter Berlin in January and will target independent footwear specialists, clothing independents and selected multiples.

Some previous stockists will be shed. Deliveries will likely begin next May.

Marc Verona, managing director of Hudson, said: “Ben Sherman has repositioned its clothing but footwear hasn’t followed. We will make it more aspirational so it fits the clothing brand and its customer.”

He added: “Ben Sherman is an iconic British brand and we intend to play to that in the design and marketing.”

Verona will appoint a new design team that will work independently of the Hudson team. Once the design is underway separate sales and marketing teams will also be recruited to ensure the Hudson and Ben Sherman ranges are differentiated.

There will be three categories in the Ben Sherman footwear line: formal, casual and a vulcanised sports fashion range. Retail prices will range from about £50 for a casual shoe to £80 for the top-end formal styles.

At its height Ben Sherman footwear had sales of about £10 million. Several parties were thought to be vying for the licence. It is currently stocked by the likes of footwear multiple Brantano and Ben Sherman.

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