Adidas’ Secret Weapon In The Sneaker Wars

by MR Magazine Staff

With only one-quarter of the American public buying sneakers for their intended athletic use, according to market-research firm NPD Group, Adidas has been turning to cultural influencers as partners, dropping new shoe styles with increasing speed. This spring, fashion designer Alexander Wang released two capsule collections of his AW Run shoes in as many months. Music impresario Pharrell Williams churns out regular iterations on his blocky, Lego-esque NMD line, which sold almost a half-million units online and in stores in a single day in March 2016, with people lining up outside of retail locations from Bangkok to New York. And West has now created six models for the Boost brand. (The NMD and Boost lines have become so popular with sneakerheads that Daishin Sugano, cofounder of the shoe resale app Goat, reports that Adidas climbed from just 10% of his sales to almost 40% in two years.) These kinds of collaborations—along with Adidas’s own in-house efforts—represent a bold departure for the company, which is now treating shoes as fast fashion: stylish, responsive to trends, and engineered to hit the market quickly. Read more at Fast Company.