Monday, July 30, 2007

Put on your retros and dance away the blues

Sir Cliff Richard and David Bowie both sang about it, and now shoe companies are at last doing something about it by matching singers with shoes in an attempt to appeal to the wallets of the masses. Damon Dash, fashion and music mogel bought Pre-Keds in 2005. Damon Dash started with the hip-hop music label Roc-A-Fella Records and fashion company Rocawear. He and fellow rapper Jay-Z were in partnership but when they split up Damon Dash opened his own record label (Damon Dash Music Group). He bought Pro-Keds to expand his wife’s Rachel Roy's clothing line. The new Pro-Keds Heritage Collection blends the look of 1970s and '80s sneakers with modern colours and materials. In the same year Reebok and reggaet├│n, Daddy Yankee released a signature collection of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories called DY. Other Grammy award winners to make the same association are Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Nelly. The DY signature collection consisted of sport-inspired designs but now Reebok have launched their lifestyle footwear collection to correspond with Daddy Yankee’s new CD in a bid to fuse music with fashion. The Travel Trainer collection highlight flexibility and suppleness which makes them ideal for dancing. Daddy Yankee records dance numbers and now there are shoes to match but with the added attraction the lightweight shoe can be folded completely to fit into a travel bags. Retro sneakers are popular because they remind the old and young of times gone by. In an era when Essex white prevailed, brand leaders like Adidas, K-Swiss, Converse, Nike, and Puma carried minimal detail. Retailers believe retro styles are fresh and appeal to the young and old alike. Oldies see them as a way to reconnect with their youth and kids want the shoes their heroes, wore. Win, win situation at the sneaker store, well only if they are big enough to carry enormous stock. According to NPD Group, a retail market research firm, athletic footwear is a $19.4 billion industry, and fashion styles are the second largest-selling category, behind running shoes which averages $4.9 billion in sales annually. The recent popularity of retro sneakers has evolved from fashion runways, which have showcased 1970s and '80s-inspired collections. Lacoste, the popular 1980s brand with the alligator logo, sells one of the most popular retro classics with their all-white Carnaby sneaker. Nike are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Air Force One, with the release of a modern version of the sneaker.

Interesting Sites:
History of Dance Shoes
History of Rock Shoes

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