FN’s new column goes inside the burning issues that will dominate the shoe conversation in the week ahead.
Game, Set, Match
All the action at the US Open begins Monday in New York — with a highly anticipated prime-time match between Nike queen Serena Williams and Swoosh rival Maria Sharapova. The two-week tournament gives tennis brands a chance to flex their marketing muscles — from emotional ad spots to buzzed-about on-court ensembles. For example, Nike is expected to outfit top-ranked Naomi Osaka with a Nike Court x Sacai performance look, a striking double skirt and bodysuit combination. Roger Federer will wear an all-black look from Uniqlo, and No. 1 men’s player Novak Djokovic will sport apparel from Lacoste and his Asics Court FF 2 signature sneaker in a new blue and white colorway.
Fila is also making a big splash this year. The brand — which sponsors American men John Isner and Sam Querrey as well as top female competitors Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens — is opening a retail shop at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the first time in two decades.The 1,900-square-foot space will be located in the Grandstand, and will be stocked with a mix of apparel and shoes.
Tariffs Get Real
The industry has spent months preparing for President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods, and now the big moment is about to arrive. On Sept. 1, more than two-thirds of shoes coming from China will have an extra 15% duty attached. The drama escalated last week when Trump told U.S. companies to find alternatives to China and raised the tariffs 5% after China retaliated with its own duties. One thing’s for sure: companies will have to figure out how to absorb the extra costs, or pass them on. “The President saying he will enact even higher tariffs on Sept. 1 is a continued nightmare for footwear workers and shoe consumers,” said FDRA President and CEO Matt Priest. “We’ve done the math and there is zero doubt shoe prices will rise, hurting poor families the most. This uncertainty may directly plunge us into a recession where we shed thousands of American footwear jobs.”
As Europe wakes back up from its long summer holiday, the stars will align at The Venice Film Festival. When the annual event kicks off on Aug. 28, look for Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Meryl Streep and more to make waves on the red carpet.