Brands ain’t just creating buzz by just launching limited edition footwear; no, they’re also setting out to seduce fashion aficionados by reissuing classic editions. Sometimes this approach involves halting production of a shoe and simply returning it to market a few years later.
This is what Adidas did with its Stan Smith shoe, although it’s unclear whether it was intentional. Lack of demand played a part in the brand axing the iconic line in 2011 but fast forward to just a few years later in 2014 and Adidas relaunched the tennis shoe in two separate stages, tweeting and sending out press releases about the rebirth of the show.
Sneaker brands are still opening big retail units but alongside these they open smaller, more unique spaces that generate interest and excitement among their fanbase.
Brands such as Nike have launched triumphant retail pop-up spaces with aplomb. Take Puma and Nike, which operated units housed in former shipping containers over at Boxpark, in Shoreditch, London, sitting alongside cool, smaller brands.
As part of its collaboration with TFL for its 150th anniversary back in 2013 (yes, teaming up and differentiating products plays a strong theme for trainer brands), Nike swung open a pop-up kiosk in the ticket concourse at Piccadily Circus, dishing out 150 limited pairs of trainers featuring print patterns inspired by the London Underground.
Nike has launched a pop-up supersized ‘shoe box’ in Manhattan, illuminating it using LED lights. With a big nod towards exclusivity, the store is accessible only by online RSVP.
Whether it’s your favourite TV show from when you were eight, the song you listened to as you fell madly in love for the first time at 17 or the sweets you chomped on as a kid that are no longer in stock, there’s nothing that doesn’t grab a consumer like a bit of nostalgia.
Trainer brands are good at utilising this powerful emotion to draw in customers, which can often help lure in an older demographic. Vans has this down to a t, with the trainer brand serving up ranges featuring designs from Star Wars, Mickey House and SuperMario to Superman. Retro styling is in vogue.
Brands aren’t just enlisting names to be the face of their brand; they’re collaborating with them on a more closer level and making sure their vision is stamped on the designs (although you won’t see a designer at Adidas ousted to make way for a pop singer anytime soon). Rihanna isn’t just adding her face to a brand of trainers at Puma, she’s become global content director of Puma. And we all know how much Kanye West likes to get involved in his collaborations, when he’s not making music he’s creating street shoes for Adidas, and we know for one that the singer come designer won’t be letting any designs that don’t fit his vision be found walking down the street.
Personalisation continues to play a key theme across brands (think Nutella and Coca Cola) but trainer brands have been empowering its customers in this way for some time. And they’re not slowing down in tapping into the trend for customisation.