Millennials Are Making Dad Shoes Cool Again, Says Adidas CEO

Don’t expect the retro dad shoe trend to go away anytime soon.

Take it from the expert himself: Kasper Rorsted. The CEO of sportswear giant Adidas went on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday after the company reported stronger-than-anticipated second-quarter earnings, sharing that millennials continue to drive the sales of throwback sneakers.

“The newest trend you are seeing in the high street is the mock-ups or the new models from what we had in the ’90s, so the big clunky shoes are now coming in — which aren’t for everybody’s taste, but that’s the new taste,” he said.

And it’s not just ’90s-style kicks that are getting a second life. Rorsted cited the resurgence of the Adidas Continental 80, a sneaker created in the ’80s that recently returned to the shoe scene, thanks to its hype among younger shoppers. (Street-style stars such as model Hailey Baldwin have also contributed to its popularity.)

“You are seeing shorter product lifecycles now, so the consumer is becoming more fickle. He or she will look upon a product or cycle for six or nine months, and then they will change,” Rosted explained. “That’s on one side an opportunity but also a threat because you can be in one day and you can be out on the next — and that’s why our relationship with a creator farm in Brooklyn or Kanye West or Stella McCartney is so fundamental to ensure that we are right in front all the time.”

As for whether the 56-year-old industry leader would be caught sporting the dad shoe trend? “I don’t think I would wear it, but my kid would wear it,” Rorsted joked.

The Germany-based athletic firm saw overall sales rise 4 percent to 5.3 billion euros, or $6.1 billion. The combined sales gain of 16 percent for Adidas and Reebok in North America topped analysts’ expectations of 5.2 billion euros.

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