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The Independent independent.co.uk (RelaxNews - French-Europe) - March 27, 2010
Luxury brands are looking to trainers for new business


Designer denim used to be the go-to strategy of luxury labels to lure in new customers, but now it seems as if trainers are the new jeans.

While brands like Dior Homme, Hugo Boss, and Louis Vuitton have long been in the market of men's designer trainers - with the latter's collaboration with rapper Kanye West selling out in no time last year - women's counterparts are just now gaining momentum.

Lanvin and Pierre Hardy launched successful ranges, Gucci inuagurated its Icon Temporary pop-up store in London last week to promote its new line of sneakers designed by hip music producer Mark Ronson, and this week, stiletto label Jimmy Choo celebrated the introduction of its $600 trainer collection with a social media-savvy scavenger hunt across the same city.

After its partnerships with Ugg and H&M, it could be safe to say that Choo knows where the money is, but even if in doubt, all its creative head, Tamara Mellon needs to check are the fan figures on Stylophane's Facebook Fashion Index: sneaker brands such as Converse count more than two million fans while their high-heeled competitors (Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin) have 100,000 or less.

The trend is not restricted to luxury brands, by the way: leading flip flop label Havaianas also just presented its first collection of high tops.

More info can be found at http://stylophane.com/fbi

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/luxury-brands-are-looking-to-trainers-for-new-business-1955351.html