Athleisure continues to have its moment, and Earth Brands is taking notice for Spring ’18. For the new season, the comfort-focused footwear company offers a portfolio of yoga-inspired shoes from its contemporary fashion-meets-comfort brand Earthies and its more traditional comfort brand Earth.
“I think the consumer is hungry for newness in that athleisure world,” said Angelo Romero, Earth Brands EVP and head of product.
In a footwear category that is prideful of its heritage and traditions, Romero divulged that many comfort brands repeat past works. However, Romero says consumers want to see an evolution of the products and that is how Earth approached the season.
For Spring ’18, Earth will roll out a soft launch of a new athletic-inspired product line, called Nimble. Earth’s decision to dabble in athleisure is a direct response to customers’ requests for more athletic-inspired silhouettes. “I think a lot of the traditional comfort shoes have been hurt by the sneaker trend,” Romero said. “A lot of consumers have migrated from traditional comfort shoes into hybrids, or going straight to more sport shoes.”
So, Earth delivered. The initial two styles in the Nimble collection, a step-in sneaker with a neoprene and gore upper and a lace-up knit sneaker, breaks away from the brand’s core footbed product and fits the current market demand for casual kicks. Romero said the brand will expand styles for Fall ’18.
In the past, Romero said younger people were more concerned about their footwear having the right look. However, he sees a shift in shoe buying patterns. “Adjustability is key, if you don’t have some sort of adjustability on the product you’ll be in hot water,” he said.
For Spring ’18, Earth offers customizable comfort in a new range of flats with fully removable footbeds. Styles from the Earthies collection have also been updated to allow the wearer to use their own orthopedic inserts, which Romero noted is opening the brand to a previously untapped consumer.
Women also want versatility with styles that can be worn day-to-night. Earthies keys into the slide trend with the Marbella, a flatform slide with a knotted vamp offered in luscious red, tan, powder blue and black suedes.
Earth has also seen momentum with its new wedges with ankle strap detail and transitional open-toe laser cut booties. Romero expects an assortment of fashion-forward greens and blues, executed in a way that stays true to the Earth Brands consumer, to add some fashion to retail stores.
“What really makes our line a little more attractive to the customer is the balance in bringing understandable fashion to the consumer,” he said. “We bring those fashionable colors to the consumer in a way that they understand and can actually wear.”