Summer may be the sleeper season for footwear sales, but that isn’t slowing major sneaker brands down, with Skechers, Adidas and Converse all piling on the news this week.
Skechers signed up singer Meghan (“All About That Bass”) Trainor for marketing campaigns that are scheduled to run through 2017, in ads that the company promises will be “bright and colorful.”
But Trainor, 21, who follows in the footsteps of Skechers spokespeople like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Carrie Underwood, isn’t just a hot singer. She’s also a social media powerhouse. “All About That Bass” has more than 900 million views and some 360,000 comments on YouTube, and Trainor has 2 million Instagram followers, as well as a million followers on Facebook and Twitter. The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based company says ads are scheduled to break later this year.
Meanwhile, Adidas unveiled the latest in its collaboration with singer Pharrell Williams, a collaboration with five different artists it's calling Supershell. The collection, a follow-up to Supercolor, which introduced 50 different shades of shoes earlier this year, the limited-edition shoes sport signature graphics from such artists as Todd James from the U.S., American photographer-director Cass Bird and Japanese artist Mr., as well as six of Williams’ own designs. The shoes come in both black and white, to better offset the graphics, with each left and right shoe featuring a different graphic treatment to allow for mixing and matching.
Finally, Converse has unwrapped the Chuck Taylor All Star II, which may look the same on the outside, but is now fully loaded. The Nike-owned brand says the new shoes contain a Nike Lunarlon sock liner, foam padded collar, and a non-slip padded tongue. (Besides its classic black, white and red, the shoes are also come in blue, all in both the high and lowtop styles.)
The Chuck Taylor, first introduced in 1917, is considered one of the most recognizable shoe styles ever, and the company says the newly engineered line “stays true to the time-honored aesthetic while also providing modern comfort solutions in a premium execution.”
Combined with solid new lineups from other big names, especially Nike and Under Armour, athletic footwear sales are having a big year. “Seasonally, the sneaker business is smaller in the summer months leading up to back to school, but still important,” says Matt Powell, sports industry analyst at the NPD Group. So far, he says, sales are on pace to finish the year with increases in the high single digits. “I see nothing to slow that trend down.”