Manchester agency Red Alert has signed a distribution deal with premium sheepskin boot brand KOS to replace the Ugg Australia brand deal it lost when parent company Deckers took distribution back in house.
Red Alert co-founder Dan Griffiths described KOS, which stands for Kingdom of Sheepskin, as a “high end, luxury sheepskin brand” and said he would target premium retailers and independents such as Net-a-Porter, Matches, Cricket and Flannels as stockists from autumn 11. He hopes to get 30 UK stockists next season before expanding to a maximum of 60 stockists.
Wholesale prices range from £50 for a classic short-style boot to £195 for an embellished, real racoon-fur boot. Retail prices range from £150 to 495 and margins are 2.4, which Griffiths said were better than competitor brands’ margins.
KOS is the latest in a number of new sheepskin boot brands to hit UK shores.
Red Alert was previously an agent for the Ugg brand. However Ugg was taken back in-house by its parent company Deckers from January and its agency agreements were terminated.
In January, AMG Group, the former distributor of Ugg Australia in the UK, signed a joint venture with sheepskin boot brand Australia Luxe Collective to distribute the brand in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It hopes Australia Luxe Collective will replace lost Ugg sales.
Last week, Drapers reported that sheepskin boot giant Ugg Australia had axed its multi-million pound account with young fashion chain Bank as part of a broader strategy to take the brand more premium.