IN-A-GRUV FOOTWEAR wants to be every woman’s “little black dress of shoes,” meaning it’s the shoe that fits any fashion situation, travels well and can be dressed up or down with the right accessories, according to founder Ada Duran. Thanks to a hidden groove on the sole (hence the name) that holds add-on accessories securely, women can switch up the top of their shoes for quick, easy and affordable new looks. “I’m a bargain shopper. I don’t need a hundred pairs of shoes, but I do love fashion and I do want a lot of options,” says Duran, noting the concept also travels well for quick style changes on vacation and business trips. Duran was a schoolteacher when she came up with the concept; she just couldn’t find the right pair of shoes to wear to her graduation party. She envisioned a sandal with a variety of colorful, interchangeable straps that would coordinate with multiple outfits—without having to purchase multiple pairs of shoes. “Basically, women are getting two whole new looks for $20,” Duran says. Currently, there are 12 accessories, yielding a total of 13 looks. Duran says they’re fun to mix and mismatch—think snake on the left foot, leopard on the right—yielding even further configurations. The suggested retail price of $79.50 includes two add-on accessories. Additional accessories sell for $19.95 each, providing an add-on sale opportunity for retailers. “It doesn’t take a lot of space to retail these, as it’s just one style of shoe,” Duran says, noting retailers prefer packages. “Stores pick the accessories add-ons that suit their customer best, or work with us for recommendations , then sell them as a set with the add-ons in a nice mesh bag. Or they’ll put add-on accessories in a big candy bowl so the customer can hunt for the ones they want. It’s an experience.” Current best sellers include cheetah, pom-pom, floral, army fatigue and gemstone. The shoes are currently made in China, but Duran is sourcing manufacturers in Brazil for the next round of production. Right now, the shoe features a mid-size heel of 2 ¾ inches and there’s a T-strap style where accessories connect to the ankle strap for interchangeable looks. Duran is looking to add flats and wedges in the near future. Also in the works is a kids’ line. “So often I hear from women that their daughter wants a pair,” Duran says. “We’re looking to license out the concept for kids’ shoes.” —L.P.
Footwear Plus Features In.a.grüv. Click on the image below for the full article on page 56.
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