Premium men's footwear and accessories brand Johnston & Murphy has stepped into a new market with the launch of its first collection for women.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company, which is a division of Genesco Inc, is rolling out the new line in 28 of its 113 retail stores and on its website. A women's catalogue will also be introduced in mid-September.

"Over the past several years, Johnston & Murphy has been building great momentum with successful expansions into new categories for our men's business," said Jonathan D Caplan, president of Johnston & Murphy.

"We feel the time is right to utilise that momentum for our women's venture.

"We know how to make beautiful, quality products, and we are excited to be extending that expertise to a new consumer group."

The collection for autumn 2008 consists of around 70% footwear, 20% handbags and 10% premium accessories, including scarves, gloves and outerwear.

Retail prices for footwear range from $150 to $250 for dress and dress casual shoes and $400 for boots. Handbag prices range from $200 to $450.