Girls Swap Heels For Sneakers!
9 January 2017
Author: Anton Dell
While sneakers have been a staple in fashion industry for over 100 years, interest in them has risen considerably throughout 2016. Marking its first year in history, studies show that sneakers outsold heeled footwear, among its female buyers.
Hanging up their heels, studies show that female consumers are trading in uncomfortable footwear for the added comfort of trainers, with numbers showing a significant increase on the last year. Much like the recent athleisure trend, which saw women wearing sportswear as street-wear, and assisted in accelerating brand growth, sneakers have fast developed into a statement.
Millennials are the reason behind this, as they have quickly become a key driver inthe footwear market, generating a whopping $21 billion in profits, among 18-34 year olds. The industry stands to benefit a great deal. In just one year, the once ‘elitist’sneaker culture expanded from simple street-wear trends to fashion shows and even stretched to design houses. More and more consumers are purchasing trainers to wear on a day-to-day. With no signs of slowing down, the trend has become a lifestyle, particularly for women.
Because of this, brands are going through a transitional phase, choosing to adapt their approach and making the conscious effort to create women-specific trainers, predicting that the growth in sales in women’s sneakers will continue to flourish.Retailers are advised however to focus on comfort, should they wish to stand out from a crowd of oversaturated trainers. Though many well-known retailers may sell their own brand of trainers, their popularity doesn’t match and nor do sales, as they lack the comfort of brands who specialize in the area. Nike and New Balance for example. Our client hummel is a prime example of a youthful and vibrant,inexpensive and comfortable footwear brand, at little cost suited to women.
It is also believed that celebrities influence the way we shop. Musicians Rihanna and Kanye West certainly support this statement, as both have championed the Puma and Adidas brands this past year. Most notably, Rihanna pioneered and essentially rebranded Puma when she became the brands Creative Director. The successful line of trainers entitled ‘Yeezy Season 1’ by Kanye West for example, with only a limited amount of trainers available, sold out of stock within seconds and thus created a fresh new hunger for the brand. The rapper was forced to release a second collaboration following its immense success. Though he’s not the first to reshape a brand via endorsement. Basketball player Chuck Taylor gave Converse constructive notes on the brand in 1921 and later went on to pioneer the brand. So influential, the Converse brand is still referred to as ‘Chucks’ in 2016.
Now, more and more consumers are looking for marketable trends and the sneaker market is high on alert at the moment. Trade shows such as Sneakerness and Bright Trade Show in Berlin are all excellent examples of exciting markets to attend in search of cool and quirky sneakers. Offering the best and latest in comfortable and stylish footwear, these markets are incredibly sought after, with tickets sold out at Sneakerness already.
Just like the trend of athleisure, the scope of this trend is simple. Maximum profit stands to be made from simply marketing more female specific footwear. After all, girls are readyto wear their feet flat on the ground and perhaps, even run a little.