Marc Fisher has a rich history in footwear.
Son of Nine West co-founder Jerome Fisher, Marc Fisher started his own eponymous brand in 2005. But so far he has only created women’s shoes under this brand.
That’s about to change.
For spring, the company will launch Marc Fisher LTD Men’s, a curated and comfortable collection of basic footwear designed to take men from work to play. The 10 styles cover a wide range of styles, from sneakers and sandals to loafers and boots. And they’re priced affordably to fill what Fisher sees as a void in the market.
He said he has been producing men’s shoes for 10 years for licensed brands in his portfolio, including Easy Spirit, Calvin Klein, Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Bandolino and others. “So we’ve been in men’s business to a small extent,” he said. But over the past two or three years, he said the men’s component of the business has grown dramatically and he’s seen it open up.
“When I was in the market doing my homework, I saw a great white space in the best, $150-$200, beautiful, quality men’s shoes for the contemporary 25-50 year old shopper,” said he declared. “Our men’s activity has tripled in the last three years, so it felt like the timing was right.”
The catalyst, he said, is that so many men are returning to work and looking for comfortable, versatile options they can wear all day. “We make beautiful dress shoes, loafers, Chelsea boots,” he said. “It’s a well-balanced line.”
And prices have reached a happy medium, he believes. “There are a lot of big, high-end brands, and then there’s the sub-$70, more moderate part of the business. We want to deliver for the guy who doesn’t want to spend $400 on his shoes.
Amanda Fisher, Marc Fisher’s daughter and vice president of product development and design, said the company used a large focus group of men between the ages of 25 and 45 to find out what they were looking in their shoes. “They wanted nice, quality casual shoes that they could wear for work or play,” she said.
Although there are sneakers in the assortment, they are different from those offered by major sports brands or luxury players. “They’re more luxury casual,” her father said.
All designs carry men’s names, including the Aiden sneaker, Cooper and Danny boots and Frank and Garry loafers, which come in neutral tones as well as blues and grays in leather or suede with minimal details.
The initial line is intentionally tight, Amanda Fisher said, to avoid confusing guys with too many choices. “We didn’t want to think about it too much,” she said. “It will evolve, but we will keep it focused.”
The men’s shoes will be sold primarily online through the company’s e-commerce site, but will also be offered at retailers including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Zappos. “We’ve worked hard to develop great partnerships with retailers,” said Marc Fisher, “and we’ve created a great niche among women. They trust us to deliver exceptional quality and great value to their customers.
Marc Fisher said he expects the best-dressed models to be the best for men. This would reflect what is happening on the female side of the business. “Our dressy business is off the charts,” he said. “Women want to be feminine again and men are tired of sweatpants. There’s an oversaturation of trainers in the market and people want to look a little dressier again.