Shoes to mark milestones

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Handing down jewelry as a rite of passage is not unheard of—mothers give ancestral rings to their sons who are about to be enga­ged or necklaces to daughters who have just given birth, while fathers usually bequeath high rolling watches to sons who have come of age.

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High end jewelry stand the test of time and as such are ideal pieces to pass on generations. In fact, one watch brand has capitalized on this idea and bore the tagline “You are merely looking after it.”

It turns out, however, that jewels are not the only wearable items that could be passed down generations—at least in the Philippines.

During the store opening of Cole Haan’s seventh branch in the country at Ayala The 30th, its brand manager in the Philippines Sarah Fernandez revealed to The Manila Times they have had customers passing down their shoes to children as a rite of passage.

“They’d come to us and say that they are giving their original pair to their sons who have just snagged their first job after college or that they received a pair for themselves during their time,” Fernandez happily noted.

“We’re also seeing customers who get their first Cole Haan pair upon their first job promotion,” she further told The Manila Times.

Fernandez surmised that such a trend only proves the high quality of their shoes, which stand the test of time as valuable jewelry.

That is not to say however that the 89-year-old brand has concentrated designs on timeless leather shoes. In recent years, Cole Haan has been heeding the call of athleisure—that is a combination of athletics and leisure—demand from its younger customers.

Coming out with both fashionable and comfortable footwear, the brand has thus been praised for its unique cushioning systems and ultra-lightweight outsoles.

Its new fall collection for the year concurrently launched with the roll out of the “Extraordinary Comes to Life” campaign continues with the same innovation. Particularly, the new collection focuses on three lineups: GrandEvølution, GrandMøtion and the next generation StudiøGrand.

Cole Haan’s Grand Evolution Chukka in leather ivory

The GrandRevølution collection reimagines the dress shoe for men and women and features lightweight materials and laser-cut perforations for breathability.

Meanwhile, GrandMøtion is a collection for men that includes sneakers and other casual footwear that they can wear from work to workout.

Finally, the StudiøGrand collection for women was designed in collaboration with three dancers from New York City Ballet, including principal dancer Sara Mearns.

The brand’s new concept store design is also a testament of its fresher approach. Its Ayala The 30th branch follows the design of the brand’s stores in the United States.

The 107-square meter space has a neutral color palette that incorporates a blend of traditional and modern design aesthetics. It is well lit to highlight the full expression of their footwear and additionally, handbags and accessories.

In ending,Fernandez notes that though a global brand, Cole Haan’s innovative shoes resonate with Filipinos whose lifestyles are changing as quickly as the rest of the world.

“We Filipino are always on the go but we also want comfort. We want to be able to transition from work to night out or workout and our shoes can complement that lifestyle,” Fernandez ended.

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