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Week in Review: 5 Big Shoe Stories You Need to Read

What do Shaq and Cardi B have in common? Reebok. The NBA great and musician were in the headlines this week after Authentic Brands Group chairman and CEO Jamie Salter expressed a desire to buy the Boston-based company. Analysts weighed in on the speculation.

“Reebok would be an interesting brand for ABG to own,” said Jeff Van Sinderen, a retail analyst at investment research firm B. Riley FBR, noting that Reebok might not fit into Adidas’ long-term strategy. “Reebok’s performance generally has improved overall under Adidas, albeit with some fits and starts that are part of any athletic brand, particularly one that was acquired. But does it really make sense for Adidas to own Reebok? I’m not totally convinced that is the case.”

Speaking of analysts, the Street was gung-ho on VF Corp., particularly after the company made solid gains during the first quarter. The company revealed that Vans saw sales surge 20% for the period.

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Other big names in the news? Jennifer Lopez. It wasn’t just because the popstar had a major birthday (she hit the big 5-0). It had more to do with the famous green dress she wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards. Concepts and Versace created a special sneaker inspired by the outfit and gave FN exclusive details on how the collaboration came about.

Here, FN rounds up five of the week’s most-compelling stories that you need to read.

Why Corporate Rebranding Will Remain One of Fashion’s Hottest Trends

What’s in a name? Everything, say experts. Look no further than Tapestry Inc., Capri Holdings and Designer Brands. In a deep dive, FN found that the trend is only going to accelerate, thanks to more brand acquisitions, category expansions and new CEOs who want to make their mark. But evolving corporate identities comes with unique risks too.

Shaquille O'Neal. Papa John's International, Inc. announced today, that NBA Hall of Famer and restaurateur c will be joining Papa John's as a member of the Company's Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John's restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, Mr. O'Neal will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John's brandPapa John's Media Day with Shaquille O'Neal, New York, USA - 22 Mar 2019
Shaquille O’Neal
CREDIT: Diane Bondareff/Shutterstock

Could ABG’s Interest in Reebok Spur Adidas to Offload It?

Reebok has never been far from the acquisition rumor mill. The brand experienced years of declining revenues and lapsed licenses with the NFL and NBA. Though it has regained favorable public perception through CrossFit and rap star Cardi B, sales speculation came up again when Authentic Brands Group boss Jamie Salter said he’d like to buy it. Analysts had mixed reactions.

Vans Desert Sage sneakers.
Vans Desert Sage slip-on sneakers.
CREDIT: Zappos

 

VF Corp. Bet on Footwear Instead of Denim — And It’s Paying Off

After VF Corp. posted a revenue rise of 6.3% to $2.27 billion in Q1, thanks in large part to its rejiggered portfolio that focused on footwear rather than denim, analysts were bullish on the firm’s future, suggesting its leaner and more agile approach would speed up growth at brands. One that’s on fire is Vans, which saw sales rise 20%. Equally hot: The North Face also grew 9%.

Footwear’s Big Problem with Sustainability

Everyone is talking about sustainable businesses and products. But are they doing so for the right reasons? Experts challenged the idea at an FDRA panel Tuesday, suggesting that going green just to be on trend isn’t a wise business move. Instead, they argued customers care about whether the brand is being consistent and authentic rather than marketing a new wave craze.

Jennifer Lopez 2000 Grammys
Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammys.
CREDIT: Charbonneau/BEI/Shutterstock

Executives Pull Back the Curtain on the Versace x Concepts JLo-Inspired Sneaker Collab

Concepts and Versace teamed up on a Chain Reaction sneaker collaboration inspired by Jennifer Lopez’s famous plunging green dress she wore to the 2000 Grammys. Execs from the Boston-based sneaker boutique told FN they hatched the idea about 18 months ago but were looking to create kicks that could straddle both the luxury and sport lanes. They did — and they also gave the musician a pair of her own.

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