Italian footwear brand P448 created an evergreen sneaker line designed for all genders.
The brand known for its premium low- and high-top lace-ups launched the Limitless Collection on Wednesday. The inclusive, 40-piece sneaker range serves people wearing sizes EU35-50 (5 in traditional U.S. women’s sizes, and 3.5 in men’s through 15.5 in U.S. men’s sizing).
P448‘s new line, mixing existing best-sellers and new releases, includes a color way that was not previously offered in some consumers’ sizes, and a silhouette originally designed for one gender alone.
Customers at P448’s New York City store inspired the new line. Store employees routinely reported that consumers were interested in shoes made for the opposite gender. Responding to that feedback, the brand wanted to create product that would meet everyone’s needs.
“The favorite is always is the classic lace up low-top, but always with a splash of novelty,” CEO Wayne Culkin told Sourcing Journal. “Second is the skater-inspired high-top with a side zip for easy access, and you never have to worry about tying your shoe.”
However, “creating the molds for the sizes is a very complicated and costly process,” Culkin said of the challenges that come with designing for more types of feet. While genderless and inclusive offerings are gaining traction in fashion, expenses related to SKU count and developing new lasts for footwear styles still present hurdles.
Still, P448 wants to “add some other footwear beyond sneakers” to the range in the near future, Culkin said, noting that consumers “won’t have to wait long” to see silhouettes like sandals. Promoting inclusion is a “part of our DNA,” he added, and the brand will design genderless offerings catering to all.
Launching on the first day of Pride Month, the Limitless Collection was developed with the Ali Forney Center, a New York City nonprofit aiding homeless LGBTQ youth nationwide through transitional housing. Named for Ali Forney, a gender nonconforming youth murdered in 2002, the center helps roughly 2,000 individuals in their late teens and early twenties get off the streets each year. P448 said it plans to donate $25,000 to the nonprofit in the coming months.