A store called Wingtip really should have the best shoe department in its trading area. While we sell some great shoe brands today, there are many more we'd love to represent. Adding a mid- or high-end shoe line is expensive. Many brands have opening order requirements of 40-50+ pair; at average costs of anywhere from $200-$700 per pair, opening orders can run upward of $40,000. Knowing that we have a cadre of members as passionate about shoes as we are, we have put together a proposal we hope is compelling to our shoe collectors.
In addition to Saint Crispins, Michael Toschi, Peter Millar, Wolverine, Sperry which we already carry, Wingtip has the green light to open accounts immediately with:
- Stefano Bemer, Italian, dress & custom, ultra-high-end
- Foster & Son, British, dress & custom, high-end to ultra-high-end
- Allen-Edmonds, American, dress & casual, mid-end
- Carmina, Spanish, dress, mid-end
- Donald J. Pliner, Italian, casual, mid-end, contemporary
- Scarpe di Bianco, Italian, dress & custom, high-end, contemporary
- Harry's of London, British, casual, mid-end, contemporary
- Clarks Originals, British, desert boots, entry-level
- Olukai, American, leather sandals, mid-end
- Swims, British, galoshes & casual, mid-end, contemporary
We have also started discussions with, or plan to reach out to:
- Alden, American, dress, casual, & custom, mid-end
- George Cleverley, British, dress & custom, ultra-high-end
- Maison Corthay, French, dress & custom, ultra-high-end
- Lucchese Boots, American, cowboy boots & custom, high-end
- Grenson, British, dress & casual, mid-end, contemporary
- Tricker's, British, dress & casual, mid-end, contemporary
- Pirelli P-Zero, Italian, casual & sneakers, mid-end, contemporary
- New Balance, American, sneakers
- Our own line under the Wingtip label.
The lists above are not promises to carry any particular line, but it is safe to say this campaign will result in more then half of those lines being added. The gallery below is a good representation of the variety we plan to offer.
Rewards: A $2,500 upfront commitment will be converted into a yearly $1,600 shoe credit (at list price) for 3 years (a $4,800 value). Any shoes purchased above and beyond the annual $1,500 credit will be sold at 50% off during the three year period. Your return is only capped by your appetite for shoes. Supporters will also receive a seat on Wingtip's Shoe Committee which will evaluate new brands and provide feedback on seasonal buys.
The Fine Print: As with any of the crowdfunding campaigns Wingtip is running, funds will not be collected until the campaign goal is met. We will periodically update the membership with progress, especially as we get close. Once the goal is met, checks are preferred, but credit cards can be accepted.
Q. Why doesn't Wingtip invest $100,000 in the shoe department?
A. The list of potential investments by Wingtip is long right now, starting with LA, but also including the roof deck, the wine cave, the Boardroom, the 11th floor, not to mention the store (fixturing, new lines, etc.). By crowdfunding, we are confirming there is demand for the idea through actual financial support, while also paying in full for the opening orders to give the shoe department time to establish itself in the market.
Q. When does the shoe Mecca open?
A. Assuming we see momentum in this campaign --and we are already 1/3 committed-- we will call a meeting of the Shoe Committee and start to prioritize brands, and even pick models from the lines as part of the opening orders. Some of the lines we could have in the store within 30 days of collecting the commitments; others may take longer, but it is reasonable to expect the full amount of the campaign represented in shoe inventory within 6 months of campaign closure.
Q. Are there any shoe brands you know you don't want to carry?
A. We are always open to feedback. However, there are many brands that we would love to carry but whose parent companies are incredibly restrictive about distribution and we can probably assume we will not be authorized to represent them (i.e. Berluti, John Lobb, Christian Louboutin).
Q. What about sneakers?
A. What about sneakers?! We absolutely intend for this campaign to expand our assortment, including a legitimate assortment of casual shoes and sneakers. Almost half of the brands listed above make a sneaker(s), and we would look to supplement with limited edition sneakers from the likes of Nike, Puma, Common Projects, and others assuming we are approved.
Q. What is your vision for the Wingtip label?
A. Well, in addition to focusing on actual Wingtip shoes, we would seek to make a great version of many classic shoes: a wingtip, an oxford, a double monk, a two-toned saddle, a loafer, a Chelsea boot, a driver, a white buck, a Prince Albert slipper, a formal pump, and more.