While the demand for Adidas Stan Smiths have gone down, according to Foot Locker Inc. CEO Dick Johnson, perhaps that means there's room for a new all-white sneaker style to charm the fashion crowd. We're placing our bets on Reebok's Classic Leather sneaker. The sportswear brand has been making marketing moves for this exact opportunity, and it seems to be paying off.
In addition to tapping Instamodel-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid as the face of its Reebok Classic campaign, the brand has also named Teyana Taylor, Kendrick Lamar and Future as spokesmodels for the heritage-inspired line. Most recently, Jasmine Sanders, also known as Golden Barbie, was announced as one of the campaign's newest faces. Press-targeted activations help, too, in order to push the brand's Classic Leather messaging surrounding fashion, music and fitness. In April, Reebok hosted a three-day experience alongside Coachella's second weekend, bringing on private musical performances by Sampha and Solange, as well as a styling session with Monica Rose and a group workout with Nina Dobrev.
Though Reebok does not publicly share its sales numbers, retailers who have been offering the sneaker style are witnessing an uptick in demand among its shoppers. Asos Sportswear Buyer Danni Dondi has seen a resurgence in Rebook, particularly over the past 12 months. "There is a trend coming through for throwback heritage sneakers, especially silhouettes from the '90s, which the Classic Leather Reebok fits into perfectly," says Dondi. "The brand has been excellent at releasing exciting trend colorations and fabrications across their footwear, which our customer is absolutely loving." Currently, there are close to 45 different versions of Reebok Classic sneakers available at Asos.
Lyst notes that searches for the Reebok Classic Leather sneaker peaked in March 2016, when prices were at an all-time low, and has since dropped off, but the online shopping search platform has seen a new rise in interest this May. Shopstyle has also seen shoppers' interest towards Reebok Classic Leather rise at the beginning of 2016, particularly among retailers like Urban Outfitters and Finish Line. Shopstyle also reports that its top two most popular versions of the sneaker are in millennial pink, which were available at Selfridges and Asos, among others.
Another style by Reebok, the "Club C," has also been a strong-selling silhouette lately, according to Asos and Shopstyle. We predict to see sales continue to increase for this particular shoe, as a number of sneaker styles within the Reebok Classics line have been heavily compared to Kanye West's Adidas Yeezy Calabasas "Powerhouse" sneaker.
While nostalgic sportswear brands like Reebok are enjoying a renaissance right now, competitors are taking notes and doing the same. For the 45th anniversary of its Cortez sneaker in June, Nike will release the classic running shoe in its original colorway. And who did they hire as the spokesmodel for its campaign? Gigi's little sister and fellow Instagirl, Bella Hadid. Sounds like a recipe for success to us.
Disclosure: Reebok paid for my travel and accommodations to attend and cover the Reebok Classic Leather Experience.