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Saddle up

Ariat-___Kid__s_Heritage_Roper_-_Distressed_BrownEquestrian style and the western touch have influenced modern mainstream fashion trends lately. Cowboy boots and equestrian riding boots are not just for riders or country folk, city slickers are now incorporating the Australian culture, heritage and tradition in their everyday style. While there has always been an underlying influence of this in Australian fashion trends, more recently there has definitely been a heavier influence in equestrian style and western influences in modern mainstream fashion trends internationally. These influences have even been evidenced in high fashion circles, with Ariat® featuring in the June 2011 edition of Vogue in the United States of America, as well as influencing the Spring/Summer 2011 runway collections of Ralph Lauren and even fashion powerhouse Hermès (which incidentally was established in 1837; producing the finest wrought harnesses, bridles and leather saddles for horses and carriages of European noblemen).

In light of this, the next Ariat® collection provides footwear for men, women and children across English, Western, Endurance and Casual styles. This season, expect ‘up-to-the-minute’ trends across Ariat® fashion western boots as well as consumer favourites from Ariat’s® core footwear range. All Ariat® footwear is created with unmatched performance technology, unrelenting attention to detail and innovative design. Today, in recent economic climates consumers understandably want more value for their dollar and Ariat® has understood and fulfilled this consumer need, providing its wearers with unmatched performance technology, innovative design, tradition and seasonal fashion trends.

Just Country Australia will showcase the Ariat® range at the Australian Shoe Fair during Fashion Exposed over the weekend from August 28-30 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. We asked Kelly Prior of Just Country Australia to give us some insight into the brand, trends, colours and the proud history behind the Ariat® brand.

Ariat-___Women__s_Daisy_-_Brown_Oiled_Rowdy__Midnight_BlueWhat are the key cowboy boot trends, colours and styles? 

The current key trends feature dark and milk chocolate browns, caramel tones and pops of black with distressed textures, intricate stitch patterns and the inclusion of hardware and accessories on boots. In women’s Western fashion styles, key trends include modern touches and feminine twists to the traditional cowboy boot. These can be evidenced in the “Legend” the “Dandy” and the “Heritage Western X Toe” styles of the current Ariat® collection.

Ariat® has a proud history – tell us about your manufacturing and design? How does it all come together?

Ariat® was founded in 1993 with the simple objective of creating the most advanced performance footwear and apparel for the world’s top equestrian athletes. Driven by design, innovation and technology – Ariat® is focused on delivering the highest-quality products possible. By working with top industry professionals and the brightest amateur riders, Ariat® builds products to withstand harsh conditions providing a combination of comfort and durability to meet the demands of today’s farmers, graziers, workers and equestrian athletes across all levels of ability. Ariat® technologies ensure long-lasting comfort, reliable protection and the right support for tough tasks.

What are some of the key points of difference that set you apart to anything else on the market? 

Key points of difference that set Ariat® apart are technology, innovation, quality, education, fashion, style, trends, tradition and the meticulous fusion of them all. However, the main point of difference for the Ariat® brand is in its innovative design, supported by consumer education on each product and the technology behind it.

Ariat-___DuraTerrain_-_Red_Earth__Available_Men__s___Women__s___2_What do you hope to gain by exhibiting at the show?

Ariat® has a large western lifestyle following in the United States of America and Europe and is the #1 brand and leader in the USA for this style of footwear. As previously mentioned equestrian style and the western touch have influenced modern mainstream fashion trends. As a result Ariat® wishes to capitalise on this opportunity, by expanding outside its current equestrian market and increasing brand awareness and exposure across broader markets. These markets unequivocally require a premium quality western fashion and casual footwear provider, particularly in Australia and who better to provide this than the leading western brand in the United States of America?

Do you have any other company news you’d like to share? 

Ariat® in the USA have just enforced a retailer ‘no ship’ policy from all USA and International stockists of Ariat® product to Australia. As a result of the current high Australian dollar, Ariat® in Australia have reduced pricing by an average of 20%, to bring pricing back in line with USA retail pricing. Ariat® is looking forward to featuring its collection at Australian Shoe Fair in Melbourne this month and the many exciting opportunities ahead for Ariat® and Australian retailers.

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