- GetThatWholesale: Could you give a brief sketch of your background and industry experience?
Jazame: Jazame, Inc. has a thourough outlook on todays fashion industry and markets and sells todays latest fashion forward merchandise. The founders have been in the shoe industry for a combined 15+ years and brought forward knowledge and experiences into finding Jazame, Inc..
- GTW: Looking at your website I see that your products are striking and unique. Could you tell us something about their production?
J: Our products are produced using the highest quality materials on state of the art equipment imported from Italy. This enables us to design and produce fashion forward styles based on todays market. Equipment leads to Quality, therefore we take pride in our high quailty, fashion footwear.
- GTW: Are your shoes all made from leather or are synthetic materials involved as well?
J: All our shoes are leather lined and made of the finest quailty of PU Materials which is next to leather.
- GTW: Generally speaking it seems that men dress with less enthusiasm and care then women do. Are there specific challenges in selling high fashion men’s shoes and accessories?
J: There are of course many challenges in supplying mens footwear as compared to ladies footwear. Men tend to purchase 1-2 pairs of shoes a year, on average, comparing to women who purchase based on colors of thier outfits. However, at our price point, we provide our male consumers the opportunity to purchase more fashion footwear at an afforable price. Offering the latest in fashion forward styles, men are anxious to purchase more of what they see in our large line up.
- GTW: What advice would you give a retailer that is new to men’s dress shoes to help them be sure they are getting high quality footwear?
J: Firstly, price shoud not always be a factor when making decisions on purchasing quailty footwear. All shoes should be inspected for the overall quality of the product and appearance. A few things to keep in mind when comparing footwear from suppliers are: the type of materials being used for the upper (PU, leather, etc.), insole materials used and quality and lastly the outsole. Many companies are using cheaper materials to keep costs low and this can only be detected once shoes are purchased and worn by the consumers. Poorly manufacturered footwear will fall apart via the sole peeling off the shoes, esp. when worn during hot weather conditions. This is due to cheap quality glue, which is used to reduce manufacturing costs and is not visible to the retailers. In summary, it’s tough to visibly see the quailty until a shoe is actually worn and tested by the retailers themselves.
- GTW: During your time in the wholesale shoe industry what has changed the most in regards to styles and the market generally?
J: The main change we’ve noticed is that PU (man-made materials) are becoming more popular in footwear vs. leather shoes based solely on the COSTS. Nowadays, consumers can purchase fashion forward footwear at nearly half the price as compared to a few years ago. Fashion footwear is now comparable to high end, designer footwear therefore available to consumers at excellent prices. Many designer footwear leaders are now opting for economical sources of materials to help reduce costs in order to compete with the growing fashion footwear industry. For example, designer footwear was known to be made of leather soles, vs. nowadays being man-made as well. Many consumers have a big misconception of man-made materials, thinking they are not as durable as leather materials. Many man-made materials these days are now very much like leather itself, leading consumers to have a difficult time to tell the difference.
- GTW: On a related note what trends or challenges do you see coming down the pike that shoe retailers should be aware of?
J: The fashion industry is now offering the male consumers colors! As compared to earlier in time, mens footwear could only be found in blacks and browns. These days, men are also looking to color coordinate, just as the female consumers have been doing for years! Retails should be willing and able to take the risk and expand their mens line offered in their stores. By offering colors, blues, grays, whites, etc. they will gain customer confidence towards making fashion forward purchases