Italy-based lifestyle and athletic brand Diadora is experiencing newfound success in the U.S. To bolster its profile here, the brand is using independent retailers to tell its story through limited runs of inline product and collaborations.
“Collaborations are our way to work with the best stores in the world. They’re a launch pad to the market to [garner] more visibility,” said Enrico Moretti Polegato, Diadora’s chairman and CEO.
Mike Packer, owner of Teaneck, N.J.– based Packer Shoes, has partnered with Diadora twice this year, with a third style dropping Aug. 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of rap star Raekwon’s debut album, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.”
“[The Diadora team] cares about our market,” Packer said. “They understand that projects like this mean something to the greater market.”
To capitalize on its latest successes, Diadora is ramping up its presence in key independent stores including Concepts, Kith, Bait and Extra Butter.
Jason Faustino, co-owner of New York’s Extra Butter, said Diadora’s discipline in refraining from flooding the market with endless silhouettes has kept his clientele coming back for more.
“They have a plan and are sticking to it, keeping it interesting, keeping people hungry,” he said. “Kids who are into the limited-edition, quick-strike collabs revolving around runners quickly jumped on board with Diadora.”
The brand’s new popularity, according to Polegato, isn’t just helping lifestyle sales — it’s boosting the label’s performance-running and tennis businesses as well.
For spring ’16, Polegato said Diadora will release new running models, including the N-4100-2 featuring the brand’s net breathing system, as well as fresh interpretations of originals like the N9000.
The brand also will have its Heritage collection in luxury destinations such as Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Madison Style.