There have been style revivals from Crocs, Birkenstock and Hoka — and now Aerosoles is trying to be the subsequent utilitarian consolation shoe firm to extend its model quotient.
Today, the corporate reveals a strategic collaboration with Laura Ashley and a web based pop-up store dedicated to classic cottagecore-type types — taking part in to a latest viral development through which ladies costume as in the event that they’re about to meander via a Cotswolds wildflower area within the midcentury.
“I think it’s less about entering the fashion space and more about tweaking the language and awareness that Aerosoles makes comfortable shoes rather than being a comfort shoe brand. That gives us certain limitations,” mentioned chief govt officer Alison Bergen of her plans to extend the corporate’s visibility. “We used to strictly be in comfort departments, but at more modern department stores now — because customers expect comfort in almost everything aside from designer shoes — those departments are disappearing. As people now wear sneakers to work there is a different expectation about what comfort means.”
Bergen, who has held earlier roles at Louis Vuitton and NBC Universal, appears astutely conscious of high-end style tendencies and the way that could possibly be translated into reviving a little bit of Aerosoles’ earlier success. “We used to be chic in an Anne Klein classic kind of way and what happened after — what was very fashion-forward and part of our DNA — became a little frozen in time and didn’t change with the environment and world around it. I came in wanting to keep price points the same and consider how we could offer sophistication and relevance at simple price points,” she mentioned.
Through the Laura Ashley collaboration, platform clogs, lace-up sandals and flats and sneakers — all lined in archival Laura Ashley prints and priced from $99 to $185 — will start to rewrite among the foregone sophistication and wider cultural relevancy that Bergen famous.
“I think Laura Ashley is really fun to help us animate our presence and goals. It’s a more sustainable brand with the floral history of living the cottage life. It helps us articulate what we want to do and puts into focus how we want to be a more fashion-forward company and ultimately make more changes,” mentioned Bergen.
The classic wares that shall be accessible in Aerosoles’ on-line cottagecore-themed pop-up communicate to the corporate’s refreshed deal with its previous hits.
“I’m very lucky my design team largely comes from a luxury universe that understands the expectations of the business but can challenge themselves. We are often inspired by vintage Aerosoles — they buy a lot on Etsy or eBay and are really inspired by that, whether it’s a fisherman sandal or a slide. That’s an important part of our process that is helping us do a better job at storytelling and how to bring it to a consumer. That’s an ongoing effort, particularly when we don’t have our own physical stores,” Bergen mentioned.
But she famous that Aerosoles won’t depend on collaborations in a enterprise mannequin much like Crocs or Birkenstocks, which produce a constant churn of partnerships to develop gross sales. It’s forecasted that Aerosoles’ Laura Ashley collaboration account for about 10 % of basic seasonal gross sales. Bergen sees these particular tasks as a case-by-case scenario, fairly than a basic international technique.
Summer sandals already on Aerosoles’ website present a brand new form of refinement for the label, with on-trend platform thong designs evoking minimal types from style labels like The Row, albeit these with soft soles and an reasonably priced $110 price ticket.
Bigger to the corporate’s backside line is elevating its foremost assortment with new designs and retail companions at shops like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Bergen can be intent on rising the model’s off-price channel distribution at shops like TJ Maxx with merchandise which might be nonetheless on-brand however produced with a greater margin.
“We can have a sandal that has leather upper with Velcro straps or lace-ups and a substantial robber sole [at higher-end retail] and then a similar style with canvas straps a softer foam sole that might not look that different,” she mentioned of product assortment for the off-price class, adamant that it’s extra of a mass market play than a diffusion line, per say.
“We can double this business in three years. I’m hesitant to share yearly figures, but this is a big headline for us, a big volume business,” mentioned Bergen.