While the demand for sneakers continues to increase, it’s no longer enough to sell them in a run-of-the-mill retail environment.Larger chains including Foot Locker, which closed 24 U.S. stores in 2017, and Shiekh Shoes, a West Coast retailer with 120 stores that filed for bankruptcy in November, must adapt to a changing consumer who wants to buy special product in a thoughtful space and is inundated with alternative ways to purchase shoes — whether that’s an e-commerce site, specialty boutique, resale app, or a festival and marketplace like ComplexCon or Sneaker Con.“Today I think we have a few too many sneaker stores in the U.S.,” said Yu-Ming Wu, the cofounder of Sneaker Con. “There is an incredible demand for rare sneakers but when it comes to the general release sneakers like Air Jordans, the supply doesn’t meet the demand. Some of these guys have relied on the old model that every Saturday an Air Jordan is going to sell out, but that's not always going to hold true today.”Shiekh Shoes owes $16 million to Nike, and the store’s founder, Shiekh Ellahi, attributes his troubles to the shrinking demand for bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as suppliers' desire to sell their products in premium environments.Specialty sneaker boutiques are investing in just these types of spaces while regional retailers are becoming global players.Extra Butter, a sneaker chain that was cofounded by Jason Faustino, Ankur and Nick Amin in 2007, spent close to $1 million to renovate its Lower East Side shop in Manhattan to mimic a movie theater. Sneakers and clothes are displayed on the perimeter of the store and theater seats sit in the center. The outside of the flagship features a marquee and a ticket window. When the store is closed, a screen comes down over the storefront that streams movies throughout the night. They’ve also decreased the amount of inventory they sell in store to only display a top selection of the brands they carry.Bodega, a Boston-based streetwear and sneaker retailer that’s known for its faux-bodega storefront that leads to a store, is opening a shop in Los Angeles. Sneakersnstuff, which was founded by Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson in Sweden almost 20 years ago, opened its first New York store in December. The 3,500-square-foot shop, which was designed by Jenny Askenfors of Bofink Design Studio, features a basement bar that will be open to the public and will showcase exhibitions and activations on the first floor.Fagerlind said Sneakersnstuff does 80 percent of its business online, but physical retail remains a significant part of its growth strategy and maintaining its relationships with big vendors. “In a world where everything is available and accessible, you have to provide a little bit more than product,” he said. “You have to provide the service to be relevant with your consumer.”Wu believes that retailers such as Foot Locker are too big to fail, but they will have to respond to the market — quickly — especially as Nike expands its pilot with Amazon.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion