Skechers has teamed up with renowned apparel brand Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) on its Endless Kisses Capsule range, which will see the latter brand’s iconic lips design feature on Skechers fashion sneakers, footwear and recovery sandals. The collaboration also extends to Skechers t-shirts, leggings, shorts and racerback longline bras, and marks the brand’s first coordinated apparel and footwear collaboration. According to Andrew Kinsella, brand manager at Skechers, the collection is de
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n is designed to resonate with “the woman on the go [who] wants convenience and style wrapped up in one.”
The collaboration follows a rebuild for DVF following Covid-19 restrictions – where the brand was on the verge of bankruptcy – with the eponymous founder, Diane von Furstenberg, explaining in a recent interview that it had slimmed its operations down from $500 million in retail volume to $130 million, between 2014 and present-day.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, the brand closed 12 of its 13 stores in the US, entered a partnership with Hong Kong-based Glamel Trading Ltd, and only manufactures ready-to-wear products. DVF is now led by president and CEO Gabby Hirata, and Diane von Furstenberg’s granddaughter and co-chairman Talia von Furstenberg.
Meanwhile, Accent Group, which owns and operates the Skechers brand in Australia, among other retail businesses including The Athlete’s Foot, recently reported a 39 per cent sales increase, and the opening of 53 new stores, as part of its 2023 half-year results.
Outside of Australia, Skechers is looking to solidify its presence in Singapore, with Japanese anime collaborations including One Piece, Pokémon and Demon Slayer performing particularly well.
Kinsella noted that Skechers is always looking for new and innovative ways to showcase its diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel and accessories, and highlight how it is blending fashion with comfort.
He said that DVF is an industry leader in “effortless femininity,” and that the two brands were a perfect fit, with aligned goals and objectives.
“Diane represents exactly what our brand is all about – providing customers with affordable fashion, confidence, and comfort,’ he said.
“It made sense to collaborate with Diane to give our customers a fun, fresh design along with the comfort they know and love.”
Meanwhile, the eponymous Diane von Furstenberg said that the collaboration was designed to push boundaries, challenge the norms and inspire others.
Diane von Furstenberg wearing the new shoes. Supplied
Local and international growth
According to Kinsella, Skechers had a milestone year in 2022. The brand achieved record sales of over $7.4 billion globally, which reflects an increase of $1.1 billion in revenue compared to the previous year.
Its fourth quarter growth was driven by a 15.7 per cent increase in wholesale turnover, and a 10.8 per cent increase in direct-to-consumer sales. The brand was able to offset a 23 per cent decrease in sales across China – as well as the temporary closure of about 1000 stores due to Covid-19 restrictions – with strong US and international activity.
Kinsella said that Skechers seeks to achieve further growth in the coming year. He added that Skechers is the third largest athletic footwear brand in the US, and has a global reach in over 180 countries with over 4500 stand-alone stores.
“We plan to continue this growth and open more stores both locally and internationally,” he said.
Regarding the Australian and New Zealand market, he explained that Skechers is planning to open more stores, update its e-commerce website and continue to grow its wholesale business.
Watch this space
Beyond the ‘Endless Kisses Capsule’ range, Skechers is set to release additional designs featuring popular DVF prints later in the season.
Kinsella added that the brand has other collaborations in the works, but remained tight-lipped on what they will involve.
But he revealed that Skechers is looking to extend its slip-ins technology across its 31 categories.
“Another superstar collaboration with Snoop Dogg has driven awareness further with the recent Super Bowl TVC,” he said.
“Watch this space.”