MILWAUKEE, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The fashionable steel-toed safety shoes and cross-functional work blazers developed by Xena Workwear are a breakthrough for women navigating male-dominated careers in STEM and the trades.
Xena Workwear was launched in May 2019 by Ana Kraft out of frustration. As part of her work in the manufacturing world, she regularly went from a meeting room to the manufacturing floor but, unlike her male counterparts, had to excuse herself to change from office shoes into bulky work boots that never fit quite right. For Kraft, the existing work boot options were uncomfortable, unprofessional and unappealing.
"How you present yourself and what you're wearing has a major impact on your self confidence. It's already an uphill battle for women to fit into certain industries and a lack of confidence caused by awful workwear is an unnecessary barrier," says Kraft. "Professional women deserve to feel their best when they're on the job."
Over the years, Kraft observed that established shoe companies often applied the "shrink it and pink it" concept to women's wear -- taking an existing men's boot, making it smaller and sometimes tacking on obligatory femininity. Kraft decided it was time to shake up the stagnant industry by starting a workwear brand that was entirely focused on meeting the overlooked needs of professional women.
The First Stylish Steel-Toes for Professional Women
In May 2019, after exhaustive research, design, prototyping and development, Xena Workwear debuted its first model -- the Gravity Safety Shoe. This low-cut steel-toe "bootie" has a stacked heel that's both stylish and functional. Its versatility allows women to seamlessly transition from the boardroom to the manufacturing floor to the job site to their life outside of work.
Gravity has a number of innovative design features that make it lighter and more comfortable for women, including an almond-shaped steel toe cap. It is ASTM certified, OSHA compliant, impact, compression, oil, and chemical resistant with slip-resisting outsoles for dry and wet surfaces. Each pair is handcrafted in North America using responsibly-sourced full-grain leather or the recently launched high-performance vegan leather.
New Safety Footwear & Work Blazers
In October, Xena Workwear is launching two new products -- a fashionable riding boot and a cross-functional work blazer.
The Nova EH Safety Riding Boot is a first-of-its-kind steel toed shoe. The tall boot hits just a few inches below the knee for extra coverage, features a low heel with a slip-resisting outsole and electrical hazard certification (EH).
The Everywhere Blazer fulfils another unmet need of women in STEM and the trades by combining the high functionality of a utility jacket with the stylish looks of a professional blazer. This cross-functional blazer has a business casual look that is appropriate for client meetings, facility visits, extended travel, and going out. It is made in the USA using flexible stretch fabric that allows for an extended range of movement and a comfortable fit with sleeves that can be easily rolled up.
It has four highly functional pockets that have an integrated badge loop, a premium YKK zipper, a lightweight jewelry clasp, and depth to accommodate a phone, safety glasses, earplugs, or even a small notebook.
"As a company, we differentiate ourselves because we listen closely to our female customers and respond to what they're looking for," says Kraft. "Based on their feedback, we've introduced a bootie with ESD certification, introduced the Omega style, which has a lower heel and higher ankle coverage, added more sizing options and colors, developed models in vegan leather and in the coming months will offer a fashionable safety boot with metatarsal protection."
Xena Workwear has received overwhelming support from professional organizations, including the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Women in Safety Excellence (WISE), Women in Manufacturing (WiM), National Women in Roofing (NWiR) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
ABOUT XENA WORKWEAR
Founded by Ana Kraft in 2019 in Milwaukee, Wis., the company's mission is to craft stylish, comfortable, responsibly-made safety footwear and apparel to help women in STEM and the trades feel confident and express their true personality. Kraft established a new category of workwear that uniquely combines fashion and function, allowing women to seamlessly transition between the office, factory floor, construction site, laboratory and work outings. She encourages women to be themselves – "Be safe, be you, be a badass." Xena Workwear products are available exclusively online at xenaworkwear.com.