Coming off the trade shows last week including MAGIC, Project, Pool, and United, Label Networks has decided to provide subscribers insight into some of the highlights from our presentation which took place on February 13 and 14th to maximum-capacity crowds.

In this story, we take a look at trends from the presentation about Footwear and in particular, Sneaker Culture.

Despite economic hardships which have affected many retailers and brands in fashion, footwear continues to prosper in the category of smaller lifestyle footwear brands. As Dre Hayes, founder of The Foundation Group out of New York City described the scene at Project “These smaller footwear brands all have amazing lifestyle styles and are chipping away at the larger brands, such as Nike Adidas Vans, and Converse. Not that these larger brands aren’t relevant, but the market’s exploding in footwear for some excellent new brands such as Creative Recreation, ALife, and others.”

Slide 1: Footwear = Brand Longevity: The marketplace in footwear, particularly sneakers, is not decreasing among youth culture -kids are not buying less in this category, which gives brands that have footwear lines greater strength and longevity than those that don’t.

Styles Trends moving: Uptown: Brands such as Creative Recreation (which was all the hype at Project) have created a collection that includes houndstooth fabrics and leather styles that are moving the direction of sneaker culture higher-end and premium street. Other brands on this tip include the legendary New York brand (and retailer) Alife with upscale fabrics and leather.

Slide 2: Color Waves: In many ways street fashion colors in apparel are dictated by what’s going on in sneaker culture. For example, the popularity of turquoise and pink among Latina Brooklynites stems from their passion for the Retro Jordan 8’s (buying them up at Barney’s Co-op).

Often sneaker colors dictate colors in other aspects of apparel such as yellow, now a key color, and formerly inspired by BAPE colors in footwear. Other trends in colors and fabrics in sneaker culture include: Metallics such as the Chrome JB Classics and pink silver Baby Phat hightops.

Slide 3: Collabs, LTD’s: Limited edition drops drive traffic to stores, blogs, etc. Blogging culture is very sneaker driven and vice versa which is also changing up the way young people shop for fashion. LTD’s are not only the rage in denim and T-shirts, but particularly sneakers, especially via Nike and blogs such as Hypebeast slamhype, and highsnobiety.

However the next trend in sneakers isn’t so much driven by Nike LTD’s on blogs (which many people feel has reached a saturation point, turning blogs into p.r. machines for big sneaker brands) but coming from Music Inspired Collaborations with Bands. This is the next tip. These brands include Draven and their increase in popularity among youth culture, T.U.K., Vans and Converse -both of which have been in the scene for ages, and now DCMA and the pink and black shoe shown here which is a collab with members from Good Charlotte.

Slide 4: Footwear By the Numbers: Taking a look at Label Networks’ data from North America.

  • Shopping “Online” is the 2nd highest “Favorite Store” for purchasing footwear at 10.3% among 15-35-year-olds
  • Highest demographic shopping online for footwear are 18-20-year-olds
  • Even between males, females -while many people think males are buying footwear, particularly sneakers, online more so than males the averages are the same by gender, indicating a strong marketplace for female sneaker fans

Stay tuned for more from Label Networks’ “Global Youth Street Culture Fashion” Presentation from Magic, plus trade show reviews and highlights.