The Nineties nostalgia train has not yet reached its final destination.
The trend — still going strong well past its expected expiration date — has proven a cash cow for brands both new and old.
Buffalo London, platform sneaker outfitter to the Spice Girls, is next to reenter the commercial ring. The brand will relaunch its towering sneaker designs on Black Friday with strategic retail partners including Opening Ceremony, Browns and VFiles.
The label recently has come under the management of German shoe industry veterans Sven Voth and Mirko Ostendörfer, who jointly recognized the Nineties’ resonance amongst young consumers.
In recent years, an outpouring of excitement for Nineties goods has spurred the comeback of multiple labels. Teva, Fila and Esprit angled to refresh their audiences by partnering with retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Opening Ceremony on limited-edition capsule collections. JNCO, Steve Madden, The Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Guess have experienced increased relevance by reissuing popular styles from the decade. UNIF, an Internet native brand founded in 2009, has incited a Gen Z craze with Delia’s-type designs that can sellout within hours of their release.
Buffalo’s redux styles will launch incrementally, said Alexandra Preusche, who has been tasked with the marketing and distribution strategies for the shoe brand’s latest incarnation. “We are translating the Nineties spirit to the new generation with new faces, to address a young, urban audience looking to discover the latest trends. Each style will be exactly the same — we didn’t change any of the designs, we wanted it to be the iconic shoes. From the Nineties to today, the materials get a little better,” she explained. Preusche noted that the brand’s logo has received an update.
The brand’s first drop will include the relaunch of its Classics style, issued in both high- and low-top designs. Each will be offered in either black or white, priced at around $200.
“It’s a unisex product, with a slight focus on the women’s market,” Preusche said. The shoes, produced in Portugal, will be offered in sizes ranging from a European 36 through 42.
The brand has partnered with a more shambolic sector of Instagram influencers to help it recapture attention, working with digital auteurs including Sita Abellan, Shaun Ross and Slick Woods on marketing materials and online campaigns. “We have the culture and background of the Spice Girls and wanted to reach out to cool people who fit in with the brand,” Preusche said of Buffalo’s present-day articulation.
With a platform measuring 7 centimeters, or nearly 3 inches, the shoes are by no means geared to the mainstream. Buffalo intends to develop shoes with smaller platforms in the coming seasons. In the meantime, relaunches of its 10-centimeter-tall Hightower sneaker style, as well as a Christmastime collaboration with Opening Ceremony are in the works.