“There continues to be more interest in sneakers, the dynamic is shifting from boots,” said Beth Goldstein, industry analyst for accessories and footwear at The NPD Group, in a presentation this morning at FN Platform in Las Vegas. The discussion touched upon the biggest findings and results in 2016 and looked ahead at what’s to come for the footwear industry in 2017.
Here are some key takeaways from NPD’s research:
- True fashion footwear and true performance footwear were squeezed in 2016, while the leisure category saw growth. “The fashion athletic business is still very strong,” said Goldstein.
- Boots are overtaking pumps in the dress category.
- “Partnerships [such as Rihanna x Puma and Coach x Disney] continue to see growth, with the merging of industries and categories. This brings brand recognition and excitement,” Goldstein said.
- Women’s fashion footwear top growth brands include Adidas, Nike, Vince Camuto, Puma, Lucky Brand, Converse, Steve Madden, Dolce Vita, Earth Shoe and Birkenstock.
- There is a continued interest in men’s fashion and footwear. “We continue to see that the men’s business is almost as big as women’s now,” said Goldstein.
- Some trends and seasonless silhouettes drove the transitional footwear moment, including peep-toe, suede and lace-up sandals.
The new normal for consumers:
- Season blurring is happening and seasons are merging together.
- The buy-now, wear-now movement is thriving.
- Consumers have an interest in leading healthier lives.
- There is a desire for comfort items and fashion that has a casual nature.
Industry in transition:
- The consumer: It’s a consumer driven market. He or she is in the driver’s seat, and it’s no longer a one-way relationship.
- The economic landscape indicators are positive, but changes in consumer shopping behavior, preferences and priorities have led to industry slowdown.
- Product: the need for seasonless product. We are in transition all year.
- Product: Fashion athletic product will continue to dominate. Traditional dress and casual styles must evolve to offer more of what consumers are looking for: multiuse, comfort and function.
What to watch in 2017:
- 3-D printing
- Augmented reality
- Smart technology
- Personalization of fashion items