Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I know the outdoors better than anyone! Yes that is right!

So why do I say this: here is why. The other day a neighbor of mine in Park City came by and told me about her husband who used to rep for Timberland and now was doing something special for them. A water shoe brand of sorts she said, and that was all she could tell me. I responded with, "If your husband is working with Keen please have him contact me directly." As I know Keen is the brand that is on FIRE. See below and how much I know:

Timberland to Launch Miōn Watersports Brand with Martin Keen
SportsNewsSource Posted: 7/26/2005

Everybody wants a piece of Keen, but Keen wasn’t for sale. Deckers wanted a piece and landed a new CEO in Angel Martinez. Timberland wanted a piece and went straight to the source and inked a deal for Martin Keen to design a new brand for the company.

The Timberland Company announced Tuesday the launch of a new brand under the TBL umbrella. The brand, Miōn (pronounced myown), is expected to give Timberland a solid entry into the technical watersports footwear market. With a strong heritage in apparel, it should only be a matter of time before technical apparel debuts as well.

Mr. Keen is under a long-term consulting contract to design and develop the line for Timberland. He will also receive royalties under the deal. Other terms of the agreement were not released.

The initial launch of the line, which is slated for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, will include four key styles across three genders for a total of nine styles. The range, which has a performance sandal, a performance water shoe, a guide slide and a pro thong, has four styles for men, four styles for women and one style for children.

Mr. Keen, reached for comment on a trip in China where he was finalizing the line, said the product is expected to ship in March 2006. He will be able to concentrate his energy on what he does best on the design side and Timberland will handle the the back-end and customer-facing functions.

Timberland said the design inspiration comes from Martin’s passion for sculpture and his competitive sailing background. Mr. Keen said the product is really designed as “equipment” rather than footwear. He said the product goes beyond his initial idea for Keen Footwear and its trademark toe protection to include protective “fingers”, or ribs, that wrap around the user’s foot for enhanced protection, fit, and performance. Each rib of the structure wraps itself around the foot in critical areas to ensure that the foot is held in place to have full contact with the footbed during static and dynamic conditions.

Keen said the sculptured look of the product will be the catalyst for the consumer to be drawn to the product, but the real essence of the Miōn product rests in the industry’s first customizable footbed and a unique fit system that encircles the foot in a 360 degree system that offers the user a truly customized fit as well. One-piece climbing grade spiral cord traces the Super Structure pulling it onto the foot with the precise pressure needed for each individual area of the foot. A special cord-lock maintains tension without constant readjustment. He said the customizable footbed will adjust to the user’s foot after 10 to 15 hours of wear, depending on the user’s weight.

Mr. Keen quipped that Miōn will take the “flip” out of the flip-flop.

Timberland said that material choice was of paramount priority with the collection ensuring durability and performance. What’s more, Miōn’s commitment to environmental sustainability is visible in both design and construction. The manufacturing technique employed in the Spring '06 line allows the company to generate significantly less waste vs. shoes & sandals built with traditional techniques.

The performance sandal will be offered in kids sizes as well. Retail prices will range from $80 for the slide and thong to $110 for the water shoe. The kids’ sandal will range in price from $45-$50.

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