A step toward panache

March 31, 2014

Suit-and-tie guys donít have a lot of real estate to accessorize ó the wrist, the lapel and occasionally the left breast pocket. Thatís why a recently launched collaboration between Cole Haan and Hook & Albert caught our attention with a la carte leather shoe tassels that quickly convert traditional loafers into nattily tasseled versions of themselves.

According to a company representative, Cole Haan, a Maine-based brand thatís been making footwear since 1928, approached the Hook & Albert folks, who brought the boutonniere business back to full bloom a few years back with knit lapel flowers, about stepping up the flair factor in menís dress shoes.

The resulting accessory consists of a copper-colored, coin-shaped metal disc that anchors a colored leather tassel. The disc is designed to fit neatly into the penny slot of a penny loafer to add a dash of panache to each shoe.

The no-hassle tassels are offered in 10 shades ranging from subtle black, chestnut and ivory to not-so-subtle tango red, chambray blue and metallic gold.

The tassels, which are handmade and hand-finished, rolled out to retail in mid-February and sell for $19.28 a pair at Cole Haan stores and on both brandsí e-commerce sites.

Thanks to shoe designers such as George Esquivel who are offering up less than traditional shades of shoes (lime green suede, flamingo pink leather) and embellishments like colored shoelaces and these tassels, it looks as if men might be realizing that making a personal style statement doesnít stop at the sock.



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services