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Wis. shoemaker Allen Edmonds now selling clothes

  • Associated Press
  • September 4, 2013 - 12:10 PM

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. — Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., the Port Washington company long known for its high-end shoes for men, has begun selling a new line of men's clothing and leather goods.

The products will be available online and at some of the company's 46 retail outlets, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (http://bit.ly/17ObAEv ). Most of the clothing is made in the U.S., and it doesn't come cheap. A wool sportcoat is $495, some dress shirts are $115 and a pair of socks can cost $22.

Paul Grangaard, the company's chief executive, said the clothes might sound expensive, but they're luxury quality without luxury pricing. He said an Allen Edmonds sportcoat that costs less than $600 could sell elsewhere for hundreds of dollars more.

Officials with the Allen Edmonds, which makes its shoes by hand, said the move into apparel came in response to customers who wanted apparel on par with the company's high-quality shoes. The company is contracting with manufacturers to produce the apparel. Most manufacturers are based in the U.S., including in Wisconsin.

Bill Thorburn, the CEO of branding agency The Thorburn Group in Minneapolis, said Allen Edmonds has a strong brand that should serve its clothing line well. He said the strategy likely puts the company in competition with the brands of Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers.

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