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Footwear indies bet on boots for autumn 10

Footwear independents are confident about the autumn 10 season, and have upped their buying budgets following strong sales of boots over the cold winter.

Indies told Drapers that boots had continued to sell so far this season with casual and distressed styles leading the way. As a result, boots have topped the shopping list for footwear indies for their autumn 10 buy.

Frances Chalmers, owner of Exclusive Footwear in York, which sells brands such as Hunter, Geox and Paco Gil, said: “I’m upping the proportion of my budget dedicated to boots this season and cutting back on party shoes, because I had a lot of those left over last year.”

Budgets are also slightly higher at two-store London indie Black Truffle, which stocks brands including Riva and Paul & Joe. Owner Melissa Needham said: “Budgets will have to rise a bit because we’re upping the proportion of boots and they have a higher price point than shoes.”

However, she added that she would balance that to some degree with more collections at a lower price point. “We tested the younger market last season with brands like Phildon, so we’ll buy into more of those,” she said.

Indies told Drapers they would buy more heavily into biker, riding boots and short ankle-boot styles.

Buyers also expect embroidered, embellished and distressed styles to do well on both boots and shoes.

Pam Jenkins, owner of the eponymous designer footwear indie in Edinburgh, which stocks brands such as Anya Hindmarch and Jimmy Choo, said: “My budgets are slightly up this season but I will be keeping the same balance of top-end and more accessible price points to reach a broad market. “People are still investing in high-end pieces but are looking for quality pieces that will last them several seasons.”

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