The lifestyle sneaker space is inundated with brands competing for the same consumer. But K-Swiss isn’t deterred by competitors, and it plans to use its 50-year heritage to stay relevant.
“K-Swiss has broad brand awareness and is known historically as one of the big sneaker brands, so we have the ability to expand categories,” Barney Waters, president of K-Swiss, told Footwear News. “But [for fall ‘17], we’ve focused on our core competence. The brand lost relevance along the way, so now it’s on new footing and right back in the mix.”
For the season, it will deliver a collection of updated classics and new heritage-inspired silhouettes that are geared to the millennial consumer.
New to K-Swiss’ product mix is Generation-K, a line developed for young entrepreneurs that blends athletic comfort with sophisticated design. In addition to Generation-K, it will deliver classic looks with modern design and technology updates, highlighted by its Liberty Collection for men.
The brand will start delivering its fall ’17 footwear in July. The sneakers will range in price from $55 to $120.
“This is the most new styles K-Swiss has introduced in many seasons. The line really represents the new K-Swiss,” Waters said. “Our core Classic business is still strong and will continue to evolve, but we now have multiple arrows in the quiver. We are known for clean, upscale court style, and we’ve taken that DNA and combined it with new lightweight EVA active bottoms, creating sophisticated athletic sneakers, ideal for the young entrepreneur.”
K-Swiss differs from others in the market because of how it speaks to today’s lifestyle sneaker consumer, according to Waters.
“Our core consumer isn’t different from the millennial customer everyone is going after; however, our voice to that consumer is different. Youth aspirations are changing, and young people don’t just want to be athletes or celebrities anymore,” he said. “Smart is the new cool, and status is earned by how much you’re hustling, not by how fast you can run.
“Our consumers want their own brands and their own companies,” he added. “They want to be the CEO; they want to be their own boss. Entrepreneurship is the new aspiration, and K-Swiss is dedicated to inspiring and outfitting this new generation of go-getters.”