Dallas-based shoe brand Hari Mari is branching out into apparel and has appointed longtime member Jake Szczepanski as chairman to oversee the launch, which is slated for April.
Szczepanski had been co-founder and CEO of Billy Reid for 13 years and most recently was involved in real estate affairs in the Dallas area.
In this newly created role at Hari Mari, Szczepanski will help oversee the brand’s growth by managing its internal operations and supply chain and overseeing the development of the apparel collection, according to the company.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to have Jake serve on our board of directors for the past three years,” said Jeremy Stewart, founder of Hari Mari. “Her professionalism, combined with her life as a consumer good and her branding know-how, will be an extraordinary feather in our cap as Hari Mari takes this natural new step in the lifestyle and lifestyle categories. clothing. And with the tremendous growth Hari Mari has experienced over the past few years, we look forward to adding Jake’s experienced voice and leadership to our executive team to help foster his next chapter of growth.
Szczepanski added, “I believe the Hari Mari brand has established a foundation and strategy for continued success alongside a highly talented management team. As the footwear and fashion industry evolves during this unprecedented period, Hari Mari occupies a unique position and is poised for accelerated growth in the years to come. I look forward to leveraging my experience to build on the brand’s momentum, helping to evolve a high-end seesaw maker at its heart into a full-featured premium lifestyle brand in the months and months. coming years.
He said the clothing line, which will initially include around 70% men’s clothing and 30% women’s clothing, will include men’s pants and shorts, t-shirts, sweaters and casual shirts. The women’s assortment will consist only of tops and will complement the men’s product. For fall, select hoodies and outerwear will be added. There will also be an assortment of spring accessories with bags in multiple sizes, some of which will use the same leather as the brand’s shoes, he said.
“For over a year, we’ve been focusing on our closed-toe shoes,” he said, “but our client has always expected us to have more than just shoes.
He said the collection will initially be sold on the company’s e-commerce site, as well as physical stores the brand plans to open in the future. It will eventually also be offered through wholesale channels, Szczepanski said.
Asked what size he thinks clothing can take for the brand, Szczepanski said, “The sky is the limit, but out of the gate we think it can be 15% of the activity in the 12 to first 18 months and grow from there. ” He said the plan was to slowly add categories and depth to the clothing offerings.
Hari Mari was founded in 2012 by Jeremy and Lila Stewart, a married couple who saw a white space create comfortable and colorful high-end flip flops. They sell for between $ 60 and $ 120 and feature a patented MemoryFoamToe, which reduces irritation and discomfort in the toes. The company also has a philanthropic arm, donating 1% of its sales to Flops Fighting Cancer, an organization that supports children battling cancer. The collection has recently expanded to include other types of footwear, including boots. The collection is sold on the brand’s e-commerce site as well as on several hundred wholesale accounts.
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