The Tecnica Group is taking its iconic after-ski boot down from the mountains to the city, expanding the range of its styles and positioning the Moon Boot as a premium-priced, contemporary brand of warm and comfortable footwear with an Italian design for young and adult women, a little like Moncler in the outwear segment. The brand's former men's line has been abolished.

A carefully orchestrated, five-year development strategy, launched in 2016, is expected to raise the volume of Moon Boot shoes sold around the world to half a million pairs by 2021. Of those, 60 percent are meant to be lifestyle items that are not connected with the snow. They already represented 20 percent of the Moon Boot shoes sold in 2017, when their total volume rose to 230,000 pairs from 160,000 pairs in 2016. The volume is expected to rise further up to a level of 280,000 pairs this year. From $12 million last year, the revenues generated by the Moon Boot line are expected to grow sharply in the next years to reach a targeted level of $20 million by 2021.

All the new styles are inspired by the original Moon Boot. The latest new product introduction under the Italian brand is the Farside shearling boot, which will be marketed during the next autumn/winter season. With a premium price tag ranging from around €200 to €300 per pair at retail, it is meant to compete directly with other premium lifestyle brands such as Ugg, addressing a contemporary woman of 30 and older.

The Farside boot follows the launch for the past autumn/winter 2017/18 season of a line of lifestyle-oriented shoes in a lower price range of €149 to €249 per pair, including the low-cut, sneaker-like Moonboot Pulse with a white wedge sole. With waterproof variations for young girls, it was meant to address women and their children, covering an age group ranging from 10 and the late 30s.

The Pulse was backed by a strong social media campaign, resulting in good orders. The launch followed the start-up of a dedicated website for the Moon Boot, where consumers and retail clients from all over the world posted excellent comments for the quality of the shoes they had ordered and the timely deliveries, according to the company. The web store features a store locator.

Some interesting novelties are expected for next year, which will mark the 50th anniversary of a product of which 40 million pairs have already been sold.

Over the past two years, many changes have been made to Moon Boot's supply chain, due to the increase in volumes and the diversification into premium lifestyle footwear. New suppliers specializing in the manufacture of lifestyle shoes have been found, tested and approved for the future production of the line. The brand now uses five different factories, four of which are located in various different eastern European countries and one of them is a Chinese factory specializing in the manufacture of children's shoes that is managed by an Italian company.

In spite of the broadening of the Moon Boot line and the sale of more and more models outside the snow sports retail circuit, Tecnica has chosen to retain the same network of distributors around the world to consolidate the brand's positioning in the sport segment while developing and growing its positioning in the premium lifestyle market.

The Moon Boot is currently sold in about 2,500 stores around the world. Italy is the largest market, followed by France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and Austria. With its new lifestyle range, it has enjoyed huge growth lately in the Scandinavian countries. It has also made important headway in Poland, Russia and other eastern European countries.

Tecnica is working to broaden its distribution in the Middle East and Asia next year, with a special focus on Japan and South Korea. A stronger penetration in the U.S. and Canada is planned for the year 2020, although the brand is already sold there in selected stores. It is also well known there, judging from its selection last year for an exclusive show of iconic shoes, garments and accessories from the last 100 decades that ran until Jan. 28 at New York's Museum of Modern Arts.

The Moon Boot's new brand strategy is led by Nick Carlisle, who joined Tecnica in the first part of 2016. Carlisle, who worked previously for Diesel, Levi Strauss, Gas Jeans, Invicta and Lumberjack, has formed a dedicated team around him for the Moon Boot project. In connection with his appointment, the Moon Boot became an independent business unit within the Tecnica Group, which also includes important sports brands like Tecnica, Nordica, Blizzard, Lowa and Rollerblade.

However, Moon Boot takes advantage of synergies within the Tecnica Group in such areas as customer service, finance, administration, legal affairs and logistics. It also shares the group's common management for participation in global trade shows and other events. The product is still distributed in France by the group's French sales subsidiary. It has dedicated distributors in most other countries.

The Italian group, which is controlled by the Zanatta family, was recently recapitalized, with a plan to push its total annual revenues from €338 million to €500 million in five years' time (more on this in Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe).