The Rise of the Sneaker

Call them sneakers, trainers, kicks or takkies, these shoes have officially become a global obsession. From minimalistic or functional pairs, to glittery fashion versions, sneakers seem to have become increasingly popular, especially within the past years. What originally started as a music-related fashion statement (think hip hop and Nike, or rock’n’roll and Converse), is now widely embraced by everyone, and especially women, from soccer moms to fashion models.

While in 1970, there were only 5 sneakers models available, the options have since skyrocketed to 3,371 in 2012*. But what has been happening since 2012 is even more impressive, especially for women’s sneakers, whicj have seen an almost threefold increase in demand in the UK. This trend is driven in part by high fashion brands introducing sneakers in their collections, such as Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo or Dolce & Gabbana, but also due to the increasing trend of active lifestyle and changing attitudes regarding casual dress. And while this season, fewer fashion brands are embracing sneakers, consumer demand for them is still high:

Visual: //

Even when removing discount data, and investigating only the number of sneakers selling at full price within a given season, the numbers are still impressive, especially considering that their prices have increased by approximately 53% within the past 2 years:

Visual: //

While there are monthly differences in sneaker demand, the trend is surely positive, with more women buying sneakers every year. Overall, it seems that sneakers are becoming an integral part of women’s fashion, and their popularity is a result of a higher demand for comfort among women, more active lifestyles, and a general proliferation of the casual lifestyle and Normcore (even in the office). Here’s to the new athletic cool aesthetic.


Data and visuals: EDITD via The Guardian.


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