How ‘Dirty Dancing’ Catapulted Keds to Success

It’s been 30 years since “Dirty Dancing” hit theaters, and on May 24, the classic film is back. ABC will air the three-hour TV musical starring Abigail Breslin as Baby Houseman and Colt Prattes as Johnny Castle. (Sarah Hyland, Debra Messing and Katy Segal also star in the flick.)

To commemorate the anniversary, Keds is celebrating the moment that had a massive impact on the brand back in 1987 with a special throwback dance class at Tracy Anderson Studio in New York so fans of the film can have their own Jennifer Grey experience. (Grey played Baby Houseman as she starred opposite Patrick Swayze in the 1987 hit movie.)

Dirty Dancing Baby Wearing Keds
The famous bridge scene in Dirty Dancing with Baby wearing classic white Keds.
CREDIT: PMC Archives

“We all know the iconic scene with [Jennifer Grey as Baby] dancing in her white Champions,” said Keds’ CMO, Emily Culp. “It drove over 10 times the average revenue growth for us [at the time].” She added, “The brand is 101 years old. It’s always been about female empowering and embracing your moxie in fashion.”

Keds Dirty Dancing
Keds “Champion” sneakers.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

And it looks like the remake is staying true to its roots. Culp added that the brand has been actively participating in the TV movie remake by sending shoes to be featured. “[Those shoes] were a key part of what made ‘Dirty Dancing,’ and you can see the impact [that it had].”

Tune in to ABC tonight for the premiere airing at 8 p.m. EST, and click through the gallery to see all the iconic shoe moments from the original “Dirty Dancing.”

View Slideshow

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