Love them or hate them, there’s no denying Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers are a force to be reckoned with in the footwear world.
The chunky $895 unisex style has been among the hottest to come out of the vogue for dad sneakers and the broader “ugly shoe” phenomenon. On top of their celebrity fans, they’ve sold out at many retailers and caused international scuffles at tony Parisian department stores — and on Tuesday, Balenciaga CEO Cedric Charbit shed some light on how they’ve impacted the brand’s bottom line.
“There’s not a dinner I go to where a father or someone [doesn’t] say, ‘Stop releasing these shoes. It’s out of control; we spend too much money at Balenciaga,’ which I’m very happy with,” Charbit said at a Financial Times luxury goods conference in Venice, Italy.
Even the minor controversy that arose this year when it was discovered that the brand had moved production of the Triple S from Italy to China hasn’t seemed to make a dent in demand.
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Along with the popular sock-style Speed Trainers, the sneakers are among the streetwear-friendly styles driving significant sales at the French fashion house, which has been headed by designer Demna Gvasalia since 2015. In fact, parent company Kering reported this week that Balenciaga is now the fastest-growing brand in its portfolio, outpacing Gucci’s 49 percent comparable sales growth for the first quarter of 2018.
Kering doesn’t break out Balenciaga’s earnings, but according to chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault, it’s on track to reach 1 billion euros, or $1.18 billion, in annual sales in the medium term.
Among the brand’s biggest fans? Millennials and men, per Charbit. “Millennials represent 60 percent of what we sell. Together with men, these are growing faster than any other [category],” he said, adding that some categories are growing at a rate of more than 100 percent.