After taking a 28-year hiatus from the footwear industry, Bruce Katz, CEO and founder of Samuel Hubbard Shoe Company, and former CEO of Rockport Company, finds himself back in the shoe business.
Actually, Katz had no intention of returning to the footwear industry. His daughter asked him one day if they could design a shoe together, and he couldn’t turn her down.
“When I came into the shoe business which was in the ’70s. At that time the idea of the casual shoe was not a definable category,” said Katz. “Men wore leather soles, a few rubber sole shoes [were] around… There wasn’t really a category called casual footwear.”
Making a mark in both men’s and women’s, Samuel Hubbard brings back classic leather footwear and adds a hint of modern necessities, including a three density insole and chrome-free leather for the uppers. Through Samuel Hubbard, Katz aims to lure consumers away from the athleisure trend with solid alternatives, even naming one style the Un-Sneaker, which boasts a rubber comfort sole.
“One of the things that were really trying to do now as a company is to tease people out of wearing sneakers. Everybody’s wearing sneakers,” said Katz.
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