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The fashion set may be unfamiliar with Ariat, but to hardcore equestrians, the brand is a go-to. In 1993, when Bay Area residents Beth Cross and Pam Parker founded Ariat, they revolutionized the style, comfort and performance of riding boots with shoe technology that could rival the best running shoes on the market. The company is now the largest lifestyle and performance equestrian brand in the United States, specializing in English and Western styles.
We had a chat with Ariat marketing guru Nikki Burton, and found out all about Ariat's new designs that non-riders will love, and the timing couldn't be better—they're perfect for your upcoming summer music festivals.
What do you do at Ariat?
I partner with our product management team in charge of the Ariat Fashion Footwear business, our channel that offers equestrian-inspired lifestyle product. We develop a go-to market plan. This includes strategy, consumer marketing, retail marketing, public relations, web, social media, traditional media, events, contests, sales support and trade shows.
How would you describe the aesthetic of the Ariat spring 2013 fashion line?
This season was inspired by visiting vintage shops throughout the country, discovering rare materials, hardware, handmade embroideries and beading along the way. We tapped into the Ariat heritage by marrying English and Western. By mixing premium leathers, artisan techniques and unmatched comfort, we created unique styles that capture the heart of Ariat's authentic brand legacy.
Who is the typical Ariat customer for your fashion lines?
The customer likes the equestrian look, values quality materials, great styling, unique details and superior performance and comfort.
Where can we buy the shoes?
Nordstrom.com, Zappos.com, Amazon.com, Ariat.com
How often do you introduce new designs?
Our team of designers, product developers and product managers collaborate each season on new designs, and we introduce new product each Spring and Fall.
What designs are you currently working on and what was the inspiration?
Sahara and Gold Coast are two styles from our Fall 2013 Fashion Footwear Collection. The Sahara's design evokes the spirit of the American Southwest with antiqued leather, contrast embroidery and a distinct border stitch pattern. The Gold Coast combines authentic equestrian roots with modern styling in lovely scrunch leather with a fashion strap and high heel.
Any other projects you're excited about?
We are excited about the Paloma, Summerside and Stratford from our Spring '13 Fashion Footwear Collection. The Paloma is a boot that features intricate, Spanish-influenced design. Craftsmen work with premium full-grain leather to create scrolled cutouts and studs that complete the look. The Summerside is a platform wedge sandal with artisan details, handcrafted from premium full-grain leather that has a hand-stained and burnished finish with hand-stained edges. The Stratford is a strappy flat sandal with equestrian-inspired features. Premium full-grain leather is embellished with Ariat's signature bit hardware with a leather-covered roller and hand-stitched seam.
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