Late last year, Sneakers Mag reached out to me to put together an article about what I thought the future of the footwear industry may be.
That article, titled “Silent Revolution”, which was published in their “FUTURE ISSUE”, covers everything from how sneaker silhouettes are evolving, to the importance of indy brands and the constant evolution of tech within the industry.
Sneaker silhouettes continue to get more daring. Look at any adidas NMD or the EQT ADV and you’ll virtually see the ultra-aggressive triangle last shape. We’re also seeing innovative interpretations of iconic styles we’ve never really had before. Whether they’re beautifully executed winter hybrid Sneaker Boots like the Nike Air Max 95 Sneakerboot, sandal versions of sneakers a la Reebok Instapump Fury Sandal, or traditional styles translated to one-piece uppers like New Balance with their deconstructed series.
With a massive focus placed on collaborations with celebrities, we’re seeing more trend-savvy women flocking to sneakers than ever before. And due to the celeb co-sign, sneaker heads that were perhaps a little “safer” with their shoe choices are able to wear a little riskier footwear – which is brilliant for footwear designers, as there’s nothing worse than stagnancy.
Filling Pieces has been setting a new standard for independent footwear brands, especially with their newest collection
Looking at the adidas vs. Nike rivalry, we’re seeing a gap where more obscure mid-level indie brands have an opportunity to squeeze in and flourish in their own right. The Internet is also playing a huge part enabling smaller brands to remain relevant and sustain themselves. Being able to sell directly to consumers allows brands to keep their margins reasonably low, as opposed to stores taking a large chunk; this in turn, them to reinvest in themselves. This reality is restructuring the way in which the footwear industry has functioned for decades.
Brand Black continue to push both performance and casual footwear, utilizing innovative construction and offer unique and highly advanced footwear
Smaller brands are able to maneuver a lot more freely than their larger counterparts in general, which allows them to question and manipulate certain aspects of the industry. Some are foregoing tradeshows – why do they need it when they can sell direct to consumer via website? Others, like FEIT, aren’t offering footwear on a traditional seasonal basis, but simply releasing products when it best suits both the brand and customer.
For the more of the article, head here.
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