Through a number of events during New York Fashion Week, Nike have seemed to strengthen their status as a fashion brand. Paying tribute to their roots in New York City, Nike revealed a number of exciting, high fashion collaborations in a series of pop-up events. In spite of this, back in October, we spoke about how the casual sportswear market is where Adidas were making up their ground on Nike, we described how Nike may need to focus their marketing stance and promote their fashion value in order to continue dominating the sportswear industry.
At Whiteroom we argued that the Adidas sub-brand, Adidas Originals, has strong heritage in popular culture making it a constant favourite. Key decisions such as the revival of their famous Stan Smith shoe lined up with vintage consumer trends, and the classic, simple profile of their historic Superstar trainer continued to provide high demand. Interestingly, Adrian Fenech, Nike’s senior brand director, supported this notion at NYFW. Fenech spoke about how consumers are drawn to narratives about how shoes fit into culture and history, leading to a new focus on the revival of the 80’s classic shoe, the Air Force One.
“Ultimately consumers are galvanised by stories,”
In addition, we spoke about how Adidas’ innovative and ground breaking approach to celebrity collaborations saw Kanye West produce Yeezy, which has since become one of the most highly demanded modern clothing brands. Nike’s presence at NYFW provided the launch of a number of fresh collaborations, including work with designers Riccardo Tisci and Acronym’s Errolson Hugh. Nike also released collaborations with a current cult favourite brand, Comme des Garçon and an alternative celebrity collaboration with A$AP Bari, part of the music collective A$AP mob.
Nike’s activity at New York fashion week supports our findings. Innovative collaborations with both designers and celebrities give the brand relevance, well designed pop-up stores dictate the brands perception, whilst A-list guest lists at edgy events create demand for the brand. Nike have used NYFW to take all the right steps to create the desirability and appetite needed to compete in the current fashion industry, and in turn continue to dominate the sportswear industry.
Read our original review of Nike’s positioning here: The Sports Brand Race
Photo credits - www.fastcompany.com
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