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In The News: Vasque, Saucony, Timberland, Black Footwear Forum


Vasque Footwear is launching the Re:connect Collection, featuring lightweight, versatile styles that blur the line between outdoor performance and outdoor lifestyle. The debut product in the line is called the Here — made with lightweight, sustainable materials and designed to maximize comfort. Featuring a recycled polyester upper mesh and built on an anatomical last, the Here is available in low ($130) and mid ($150) silhouettes, and has aggressive Xlite outsole lugs for multi-directional traction. Amy Peck, director of product creation for Vasque, says the Re:connect line is for “the ‘Everyday Outdoor’ consumer, someone who desires a shoe that can take them from town to trail,” noting the footwear is lightweight with athletic-influenced aesthetics.

Saucony appointed Chris Deschenes, most recently VP of sales for The Wolverine Kids Group, as its VP of U.S. sales. Deschenes will join the brand’s senior leadership team, tasked with setting the strategic direction for all facets of Saucony’s U.S. footwear and apparel sales. He will report to Rob Griffiths, global brand president, Saucony. Deschenes has 20+ years of experience in various sales and product merchandising roles for a variety of brands, including Life is Good, Sperry, Converse and Puma North America. In his role at The Wolverine Kids Group, Deschenes managed a portfolio of kids’ brands, including Sperry, Saucony, Merrell, Keds, Pro Keds and Hush Puppies.

Zumiez, which realized a 10.1 percent comparable sales decline for the 37 days ended Sept.4, said its men’s business was positive for the period but all other categories had year-over-year comp sales declines, led by footwear. The company intends to open 14 of 19 new stores this year in either Europe or Australia under its Blue Tomato banner with North America new doors pegged at five.

Timberland has lost an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, meaning parent VF Corp. owes $875.7 million in tax related to its Sept. 2011 acquisition of the company. The parent intends to account for decision with a non-cash tax expense of up to $730.0 million in Q2 and a reversal of approximately $19.6 million in accrued interest income.

The fourth annual national Black Footwear Forum (BFF) will convene at Detroit's HBCU Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC) in partnership with the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) on September 21-24. The theme for this year is Culture is Currency: Know Your Worth. The BFF includes panel discussions, breakout sessions and more, bringing together black creatives to share, educate, motivate, network, and address diversity and inclusion challenges in the design industry. For more information, visit