The Reaction to True Religion’s New Sneakers Was Cult-Like

Reaction was swift when California-based denim brand True Religion relaunched into the footwear category.

“We put it up and less than seven days later we sold out,” shared chief marketing officer Tara Peyrache, who told Footwear News that consumer interest was overwhelming when the label released a line of sleek sneaker-boots in December that were designed in-house — a first for the brand.

True religion shoes unisex
True Religion shoes; $185.
CREDIT: Courtesy of True Religion.

A restock is in the works for the end of April, with prices at $185 for the unisex high-tops at special stores and online.

The footwear features a semi-soft nappa leather upper, gold-tone detail embossed with a horseshoe logo and a honeycomb pattern on the sole. Colorways include midnight black, ice white and crimson. A special edition of the shoe was designed in denim.

Previously, the jeans brand licensed out its name in fall 2007 with GMI Footwear. In spring 2011, the label partnered with Titan Industries Inc. on a collection of nearly 30 styles, including flats, wedges and stilettos in metallic hues and bright exotic skins.

True religion shoes unisex
True Religion shoes; $185.
CREDIT: Courtesy of True Religion.

But this time around, the streetwear-focused brand is staying true to its roots by designing from within.

“There’s a fashion aesthetic that works within the brand DNA,” Peyrache said. “That’s a place where we play very well with our core consumer. What we’ve seen with the footwear world is a strong fashion point of view and we want to be a part of that.”

Below, Peyrache shares more on True Religion’s strategy and style.

true religion shoes
True Religion’s Hex V1 unisex high-tops; $185.
CREDIT: Courtesy of True Religion.

Footwear News: What influenced the look of the shoes for this iteration?
Tara Peyrache: “We really try to understand everything the True Religion consumer desires from the brand. Our fans believe the horseshoe [logo] is a valuable status symbol. We knew that it had to be integrated into the shoe design. The brand has a streetwear inspired point of view, and have evolved into this particular category – shoes.”

FN: What were some challenges?
TP: “When we first launched, the demand far exceeded our expectations. The shoe was orchestrated in unisex sizing but we weren’t able to accommodate the demand for size 12 and up or 7 and below. But when we received increasingly more customers asked for those sizes we knew we created a genderless and universally appealing design. Moving forward, we are working to ensure we have a wider assortment of all sizes.”

FN: What was True Religion’s strategy for launching footwear again this time around?

TP: “We launched it in a soft way- targeting our core customer via social media, digital coverage and word of mouth. We were very excited about the launch yet cautiously optimistic. Once the word was out, it was thrilling to see our fans resonate with the product and share our excitement. From here we will explore potential opportunities with our own store fleet, department stores & specialty retailers.”

FN: What was your marketing strategy?
TP: “We feel really connected to our base on Instagram and wanted to target that following for this launch. There are so many people that send us content featuring our jeans working back to their footwear, it was our next logical step to add sneakers to the mix. We had limited inventory but didn’t want to delay anything so we treated the launch like a drop and it sold out a lot faster than we had expected. So, we went back to our team and shared the results. It was imperative to make sure we captured those customers and let them know when we will restock. We want them to be serviced 100-percent.”

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