A few years back, sneakers were bought for the field or streets and came with deep heat or blue denim. The buying decision was limited to only Puma vs Reebok or Nike vs Adidas.However, trainer fetishism is not a new thing and men have long paid above the odds for a certain color or a special edition. The limitations remained either for sidewalk or sports court for years. Many high brands like Prada, Kering’s Gucci, Tracer and Balenciaga are growing immensely with ever-more striking & expensive designs giving direct competition to sportswear giant brands like Adidas, Nike, and Puma etc. Luxury fashion groups declare that they are investing in marketing budgets to put down their new opponents.
A globe change is happening in sneakers world now. Sneakers are being seen in a new light and new features catering to designs and styles. There is a drastic change-over in trendsetters as off-duty footwear is accepted, the humble Adidas Stan Smith, for example, has been upgraded recently from the tennis court to the flow in the recent London and Milan shows as evidence. From a few years back, there is a global rise in the sales of sneakers from 10% to 3.5 billion euros. Something extraordinary is happening there! Sneakers are coming in varied context in terms of style, design & trend set.
Many labels like Feit, CQP and Common Projects are manufacturing understated yet plain trainers with less branding & asking for hundreds of pounds for the same. These sneakers are made by costly leathers and made by hands alongside traditional footwear brands such as Church’s & Loake. But these sneakers don’t have athletic pretensions so it can’t be suitable for gym.
“The elevation of the sneakers has in fact been happening for some time,” says Volker Ketteniss, head of menswear at trend forecasters WGSN. Many designers like Margiela & Maison Martin have been putting their best effects to remove the gap between sneakers (trainers) and high-end shoes. But in previous year, suiting and booting up has become much more casual while a lot of streetwear and denim has become smarter.
It is a great boom in the market for cash for both luxury groups and sports companies. For a pair of crystal-embellished sneakers, premium sneakers can start at around $577 but can easily rise as high as $4500.
Limited editions can sell for well over $10,000, including the Chanel X Pharrell Hu Race Trail or Nike’s Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Grateful.
Beating the economy along
Sneakers are the most important revenue generators for the luxury shoe business as per the fastest growing fashion industry area. The growth of luxury sneakers is part of the growing influence of casual and streetwear in the latest fashion trends, where it is now acceptable to team sneakers with a tailored suit.
Upmarket brands are tapping into street style to refresh their looks and young buyers are driving the shift.
Several luxury group executives recently noted the importance of sneakers for their business and the need to step up their game to face the rising competition.
The question people asked most often is: ‘Where are we in the sneaker cycle? When is this sneaker cycle going to end?” says Powell. “And my answer is always the same: It’s not going to end. We are living in a permanent state of sneaker-ness.”