Get John Mayer’s Off-Day Style With These Hard-to-Find $650 Sandals
By Riley Jones
After playing the Darien Lake Amphitheater in Darien Center, N.Y., on Sunday, singer-songwriter John Mayer got some much-needed downtime from his “The Search for Everything” tour Monday.
Ahead of tonight’s stop in Toronto, Mayer shared on Instagram yesterday an image of him lounging with Greg Dacyshyn, former chief creative officer at Burton.
In the laid-back shot — which sees Dacyshyn dressed head to toe in lavender and lilac shades — Mayer pulls off his signature effortlessly cool style in a way that only he can. With potato chips in hand, Mayer was strapped up comfortably in Visvim’s hard-to-find Christo sandals.
The cult Japanese brand’s strappy Christo sandals are inspired by the architecture of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who are known for their “wrapped” buildings.
The Visvim Christo is currently sold out at many retailers, but select sizes can be found now from Visvim’s e-commerce site, visvim.tv, for $650.
In related news, Mayer recently caught the attention of sneakerheads by creating his own custom NIKEiD Air Max 90 designs and commissioning artist Matt McCormick to draw on a pair of Kanye West’s Yeezy boots.
Maria Sharapova Holds Court in Crystal-Embellished Black Dress at U.S. Open — See Her Best Tennis Outfits
By Robyn Turk
Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova recently returned to tennis after a 15-month hiatus. Known for her accomplishments on the court, the Russian athlete also has a noteworthy sense of fashion that enhances her game.
She wore a black dress designed by Nike and Riccardo Tisci during her first match at the 2017 U.S. Open on Monday morning. With lace cutouts and Swarovski crystal embellishments, this dress added a glamorous touch to her win. Reflecting on the look, Sharapova wrote on Instagram,“What an amazing experience getting to work with icon Riccardo Tisci and Nike on this year’s U.S. Open dress. Just remembering sitting around my dining table talking inspiration and all things lace with Riccardo and now … it’s come to life!”
Maria Sharapova in Nike at the U.S. Open in 2017.Rex Shutterstock
Sharapova has been fashion-conscious throughout her athletic career. Here we reflect on some of her highlights.
In an all-pink, all-Nike look, Sharapova won her first round at the Bank of the West Classic WTA Premier in Stanford, Calif. Her pleated skirt added a sartorial touch to a strong game. She wore pink Nike sneakers to finish the ensemble.
Maria Sharapova in Nike at the Bank of the West Classic in 2017.Rex Shutterstock
At the Australian Open in 2016, Sharapova defeated Serena Williams while wearing an orange Nike dress. She matched the racerback dress with orange-accented white Nike sneakers.
Maria Sharapova in Nike at the Australian Open in 2016.Rex Shutterstock
Again playing against Williams, Sharapova wore all-white Nike to the 2015 Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Though she didn’t win the match, Sharapova’s tennis dress was a win in itself. Its flowy skirt, white lace finish and racerback top added to its stunning appeal. She finished the look with simple white Nike sneakers.
Maria Sharapova in Nike at Wimbledon in 2015.Rex Shutterstock
While playing at the Australian Open in 2015, Sharapova sported a fiery red look by Nike. The understated dress had a small cutout at the small of the back and a linear racerback top. She wore white Nike sneakers with pink accents.
Maria Sharapova in Nike at the Australian Open in 2015.Rex Shutterstock
At the 2015 Nike Street Tennis Event, Sharapova stepped out in a black-and-white outfit. All by Nike, the sneakers showcased pink accents, black laces and a black Nike swoosh over a white base. Sharapova’s white dress featured black accents at the waist, chest and hem.
Maria Sharapova in Nike at the Nike Street Tennis Event in 2015.Rex Shutterstock
The Adidas Ultra Boost Is Getting Even Cooler in 2018
By Riley Jones
Now three generations in, the Adidas Ultra Boost continues to stand out as one of the Three Stripes’ fan-favorite models. The shoe’s combination of long-lasting comfort and modern style has made it a favorite of celebrities and everyday consumers alike, and now the Ultra Boost could be getting even more comfortable in 2018.
According to Yeezy Mafia, releasing alongside a range of upcoming Ultra Boost 4.0 colorways will be the all-new Ultra Boost Clima, making use of Adidas’ proprietary ClimaCool ventilation technology.
Aesthetically, the Ultra Boost Clima is similar to its counterparts, but with a noticeably wider gauge knit that extends to the shoe’s signature support cage. Based on the images alone, it looks as though this could be the most breathable and ventilated Ultra Boost style yet.
Mainstay Ultra Boost technology, such as its full-length Boost midsole and durable Continental rubber outsole, will also make an appearance on this new model.
The Ultra Boost Clima is expected to release in three colorways — “Carbon/Orchi Tint,” “Gray Two/Real Teal” and “Footwear White/Clear Brown” — in April 2018. According to the early information, each style will also be available in kids’ sizing.
Six Shoe Trends Every Girl Needs for Back-to-School
By Erin E. Clack / August 15, 2017
Out with the old, in with the new.
As summer draws to a close and the annual back-to-school season kicks off, it’s a great time to update your child’s wardrobe. When it comes to shoes, top brands such as Steve Madden, Sam Edelman and Vans are serving up a number of fresh fashion trends for fall. Sneakers and boots continue to dominate the girls’ market, but interesting new details and materials kick these staple styles up a notch — everything from funky faux fur to twinkly star patterns.
To help make your shoe shopping mission easier, we’ve put together a little cheat sheet on the season. Here are the six key girls’ trends to keep on your radar:
1. Velvet sneakers
The luxe fabric adds a glam touch to an old favorite.
Steve Madden Jberch Charm sneaker, $49.95; nordstrom.com
Kenneth Cole New York Kam Strap sneaker, $39; macys.com
2. Faux-fur accents From pom-poms to vamp accents, the fluffy stuff adds a funky note to the season’s freshest sneaker styles.
Zara Kids glitter plimsolls, $39.90; zara.com
Sam Edelman Cynthia Leya sneaker, $49; bloomingdales.com
3. Tonal sneakers
Go all-in with monochromatic kicks dipped in bold shades such as pink and blue.
Puma Iced Suede sneaker, $60; nordstrom.com
Vans Mono Sk8-Hi Zip sneaker, $45; vans.com
4. Expressive patches
Colorful, kid-friendly icons and emojis do the talking on these shoes.
Famous Footwear & Sam Edelman Parent Blows Past Earnings Forecasts
By Sheena Butler-Young
Caleres Inc. is living up to its reputation for agility in a period of retail turmoil.
The company behind popular family-footwear retailer Famous Footwear, and brands such as Sam Edelman, Dr. Scholl’s and Diane von Furstenberg, today announced a second-quarter performance that topped estimates across the board.
Caleres said its sales advanced nearly 9 percent, to $677 million, besting analysts’ forecasts for sales of $668.9 million. Famous Footwear continues to make the largest contribution to the firm’s results, producing sales of $404.9 million, a gain of 3.8 percent over the comparable period. The retailer’s same-store-sales were also up 2.8 percent.
Brand Portfolio sales of $272 million were up 16.8 percent, which included a contribution from men’s label Allen Edmonds, which Caleres acquired in December 2016.
Overall, net earnings were $17.6 million, while diluted earnings per share were 41 cents. Adjusted net earnings of $20.6 million were up 4.4 percent, while adjusted diluted EPS of 48 cents topped estimates for diluted EPS of 44 cents.
“In the second quarter, we delivered solid sales improvement across both sides of our business,” said CEO, president and chairman Diane Sullivan, noting that a strong back-to-school season for Famous Footwear propelled the firm ahead of Q2 forecasts.
“Additionally, we saw consistent margin expansion, generated steady cash flow and continued to pay down our revolving credit facility following the Allen Edmonds acquisition,” Sullivan added.
The firm reiterated its fiscal 2017 guidance, and continues to expect consolidated net sales in the range of $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion, and adjusted diluted EPS of $2.10 to $2.20.
Two consecutive negative earnings reports from the athletic industry’s biggest retailers have bolstered fears that a previously red-hot category — and its top brand Nike — are in the midst of a mega downturn.
The Finish Line Inc.’s second-quarter pre-announcement on Monday included news of dimming sales — down 3.3 percent, to $469.4 million — and a significant reduction in the outlook for the remainder of the year.
Competitor Foot Locker Inc. — which has led the specialty athletic retailer pack for several years — also spooked investors earlier this month when it announced that its Q2 sales fell 4.4 percent, to $1.7 billion, missing Wall Street’s consensus for sales of $1.8 billion. Comparable sales also declined 6 percent.
Profits took an even greater tumble — declining 60 percent year-over-year to $51 million, or 39 cents per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, profits were 62 cents per share — a significant miss against analysts’ forecasts for earnings per share of 90 cents.
While Finish Line has recently suffered several company-specific challenges, for the past two-plus years, Foot Locker has successfully reaped the benefits of strong athletic trends.
Now, experts say the evidence is mounting that Foot Locker’s struggles indicate a larger issue with the athletic industry and its longtime leading brand.
“The athletic industry [is slowing down and] has been soft since the beginning of the year,” said Matt Powell, a sports-industry analyst with The NPD Group. “It’s still trending much better than dress and casual, [but] Nike sales have remained soft. Nike has not made the pivot from performance to sportswear, and its basketball sales are particularly challenged.”
Similarly, Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst Camilo Lyon said in a note today that he believes an all-around “athletic malaise” is “largely promulgated by Nike’s innovation lull and ensuing aggressive promotional stance.”
“Simply put, it is crippling retailers,” he added. “To make matters worse, it appears that some of the top performing platforms until recently (Roshe, Hurache, Jordan Retro) are slowing at a much faster rate than previously anticipated, requiring more aggressive promotions to move slower turning inventory, likely leading to a marketwide step up in promotions in the 2H17.”
Lyon further cautioned that he does not expect the athletic space to show “any signs of stabilization until we see meaningful innovation out of Nike,” which he believes will take another 9 to 12 months.
Foot Locker chairman, CEO and president Dick Johnson also suggested that athletic retail sales declines are largely attributable to a lack of exciting product — but spread his concerns across multiple athletic brands.
“Reflecting the increased pace of changing consumer influences, sales of some recent top styles fell short of our expectation,” Johnson told investors during an Aug. 18 conference call. “In North America, for example, the sell-throughs of certain Jordan models slowed considerably compared to historical rates. In Europe, we planned certain Adidas Original styles — such as Superstars and Stan Smiths — down substantially, but they declined even more than expected.”
He added, “At the same time, we were affected by the limited availability of innovative new products in the market. The old multiseason’s seed, ignite and rollout of cheap footwear platforms just doesn’t work as effectively anymore.”
Following Finish Line’s negative pre-announcement Monday and a downgrade of Nike stock by Morgan Stanley on Tuesday, a slew of athletic stocks have been battered.
Nike ended the trading day down nearly 2 percent, to $52.73; Under Armour’s shares closed down almost 3 percent, to $15.34; Foot Locker ended down 1.5 percent, to $35.16; and Finish Line was in the red more than 18 percent, to $8.50. Dick’s Sporting Goods also ended the day down 1.6 percent, to $26.52.
Still, all is not lost, according to Powell.
“It’s always about great product,” he said. “If brands make what kids want, the business will bounce back.“
The Finish Line Inc.’s shares are taking a beating after the firm on Monday pre-announced a negative second-quarter earnings performance, as well as its plans to adopt a shareholder rights plan or “poison pill.”
As of 11:40 a.m. ET, shares remained down more than 20 percent, to $8.32.
The specialty athletic retailer said its Q2 net sales were down 3.3 percent over the prior year, to $469.4 million, driven by a 4.6 percent decline in comps. The company also cautioned that, based on the decline in sales and pressure on gross margin from increased markdowns, it expects to report second quarter earnings per share in the range of 8 cents to 12 cents — a far cry from analysts’ bets for diluted EPS of 38 cents.
“The marketplace for athletic footwear became much more promotional as our second quarter progressed, resulting in challenging sales and gross margin trends,” Finish Line CEO Sam Sato said. “Despite these headwinds, we remained disciplined in managing our inventories and expect to end the quarter with inventory levels down approximately 7 to 8 percent compared with a year ago.”
Still, Finish Line expects negative sales and gross margin trends to continue throughout the remainder of the year. As a result, the firm significantly lowered its full-year outlook. The company now expects comparable sales to decrease 3 to 5 percent, versus its previous guidance for an increase in the low single-digit range. Adjusted earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of 50 cents to 60 cents, versus the previous guidance range of $1.12 to $1.23, and compared with adjusted earnings per share of $1.06 in the previous year.
Finish Line, which has recently shouldered rumors of a takeover by U.K. sporting goods megafirm Sports Direct International Plc, also said Monday that it has adopted a shareholder rights plan “to reduce the likelihood that any person or group would gain control of Finish Line through open market accumulation or coercive takeover tactics …”
“The board believes that it is in the best interests of Finish Line and our shareholders to adopt a shareholder rights plan given the current market conditions and recent share accumulations,” said Finish Line chairman Glenn Lyon. “The plan is designed to ensure that the company’s board of directors is able to appropriately consider whether proposals, if any, are in the best interests of all our shareholders.”
In April, a U.S. Securities Exchange & Commissions filing revealed that Sports Direct had taken a significant interest in Finish Line — to the tune of 3 million shares — and at least one analyst believed Sports Direct’s purchase portended a takeover of the retailer. (Sports Direct holds an indirect economic interest in the shares through a derivative known as a contract for difference [CFD]. Such an interest does not provide voting power or beneficial ownership of shares.)
“It appears to us that Sports Direct is actively making an effort to purchase Finish Line, despite the fact that no mention of an active position was mentioned in the [SEC] filing,” Susquehanna Financial Group LLP analyst Sam Poser wrote at the time. “The purchase of all of Finish Line would provide leverage for Sports Direct’s total operation, as well as provide better vendor terms from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and others.”
Since April, Sports Direct has aggressively upped its purchasing of Finish Line shares — both through CFDs as well as outright purchasing beneficial shares. The most recent SEC filing by the firm shows Sports Direct now beneficially owns more than 3 million Finish Line shares and has an indirect economic interest in 8.7 million shares, representing a 29.6 percent economic interest in the shares.
While Finish Line has not publicly discussed Sports Direct’s actions, the firm’s adoption of a “poison pill” follows a similar strategy undertaken last year by then-embattled brand management firm Iconix Brand Group.
In November 2015, Sports Direct began quietly purchasing huge chunks of Iconix shares. By mid-January 2016, it had aggressively snapped up an indirect economic interest in 14.4 percent of Iconix’s shares. The result was industrywide speculation of a takeover. Later that same month, Iconix announced that it had adopted a “poison pill” to foil any improper takeovers.
Sports Direct has moved aggressively over the past few years to snap up new businesses — including Eastern Outfitters, which it purchased out of bankruptcy in April — and add them to its expanding portfolio. At the same time, the self-proclaimed No. 1 sports retailer in the U.K. has also taken investment stakes in several companies, including JD.com and French Connection, without escalating its role to ownership.
Details of Finish Line’s rights plan are contained in a form 8-K filed with the SEC.
Sneaker trends today tend to be fleeting, with the window to make a significant cultural impact open for just a short period of time. But rap star Kanye West and athletic standout Adidas have found ways to resonate with consumers far longer than the standard 15 minutes of fame.
After a solid debut with the Yeezy Boost 750, Adidas and West followed up with several other looks, such as the wildly popular Yeezy Boost 350 and 350 V2 models. And the partnership continues to yield new silhouettes that fans adore, including the Powerphase and Wave Runner.
Footwear News spoke with four sneaker insiders — Concepts creative director Deon Point, Packer Shoes owner Mike Packer, Lapstone & Hammer founder and creative director Brian Nadav and Extra Butter creative director Jason Faustino — to find out.
When, if at all, will the Yeezy bubble burst?
Deon Point: “It really may not be ending any time soon at all. He has the ability to reinvent himself and create new silhouettes; there’s so much more that could be done. If you look at him like you would look at a marquee athlete, someone like LeBron [James], he’s on his 15th shoe and Kanye is just getting started. He’s not viewed in the same light as an athlete, but in our eyes on the retailer side, he is — he’s actually bigger. He has the ability to become larger than anything we’ve ever witnessed.”
Jason Faustino: “If it were going to continue with just the 350 Boost, it would have started bursting at the end of this year. It’s starting to get to a snobby point where if you look at the people wearing Yeezy [350s], it’s hitting a level of mainstream that ultimately influencers or people really into fashion are trying to distance themselves from and move on to something else. But with the influx of something like the Wave Runner, a style like that can continue the momentum, for sure. And dropping other styles like the Powerphase, and bringing in variety to the Yeezy line, will keep it going. Both appeal to different audiences and both are very welcomed at this time.”
Mike Packer: “If it’s done in a smart and correct way, it’s sustainable for a long time. They started with the 750, then the 350 and the 350 V2, and now you have Powerphase and the Wave Runner. You could have a good rotation; you don’t have to have one model all the time with a bunch of different colors. And I’m sure they have other things coming down the pike. It’s sustainable and it’s growable.”
Brian Nadav: “Kanye West is one of those people that can seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of his fan base. The Yeezy bubble may never burst, but resell prices and hype will continue to fall with the increased quantity of each drop. It’s simple supply and demand. Yeezy will continue to sell out day of release, and it will be interesting to see how Adidas will manage the number of units per drop moving forward.”
Adidas Yeezy Wave Runner 700Yeezy Supply
Why are people still obsessed with Yeezys?
DP: “That’s the million-dollar question. It’s a shoe that makes my life hell because even my grandparents are asking me for them. In my 20-something years in being immersed in sneakers, I’ve never seen anything like it to this capacity. When he left Nike, there were a lot of people thinking it was a one-shot wonder and would die out. Somehow, it has not only retained its success, it keeps growing. Kanye is such a vocal artist and is always in some sort of headline or being spoken about. On the brand side [Adidas], they’ve done an amazing job of putting pairs in the marketplace, while steep keeping it coveted. And for the consumers, with the riots, the fights, and having to resort to raffles — which is always a difficult process — that has all added to the allure of what a Yeezy is. I don’t know how it has retained the energy and excitement that it has, but I think we’re all siting back wondering, ‘How long could this last?’”
JF: “I think it’s a lack of other options because there doesn’t seem to be another leader that people want to follow or get behind. And also, I think Adidas is doing a brilliant job overall as a brand, and the things they’re doing with technology and design and messaging. Everything they’re doing right now is working. Kanye happens to be one of the biggest faces to push the Adidas product on the footwear side. It’s the perfect storm.”
MP: “It’s product. If the product is good, people want it. Bottom line. Kanye lends himself to it, obviously, and that’s a big part of it. But the product has to be good.”
BN: “It’s because Kayne is such a polarizing figure. He is the influencer of all influencers in today’s youth culture. Also, having Yeezys on your feet today is more of a status symbol than rocking most Jordans. There used to be a time when having almost any OG retro Jordan was the epitome of cool. Those days are long gone.”
Nike Unveils Kevin Durant’s New ‘Red Velvet’ KDX Shoes With Cupcake Campaign
By Nia Groce
For Kevin Durant’s latest sneakers with Nike, the 2017 NBA champion and sportswear brand took inspiration from what may seem like an unlikely place for basketball — dessert. However, upon closer examination it appears that the KDX Red Velvet shoes could actually be a subliminal jab at all of Durant’s critics.
The Nike KDX Red Velvet sneakers feature a white dotted sole.Courtesy of Nike.com
How Nike’s Slowdown Is Crippling Retailers
Featuring a fire red upper and white dotted sole, Nike equates the Red Velvet moniker of the new KDX sneakers to Durant’s “smooth as velvet” style of play. In Nike’s description, the brand continues by saying, “At the end of the day, winning is all that matters and anything else is just icing on the cake. The KDX ‘Red Velvet’ celebrates the smoothest player in the game and his undying quest for the sweet taste of victory.”
A top view of Nike’s KDX Red Velvet sneakers.Courtesy of Nike.com
While this is one practical theory behind the sneaker’s design, it’s also highly feasible that the cupcake marketing around the Red Velvet sneakers are a jab at former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook and other naysayers to Durant’s departure. The day that Durant left OKC, Westbrook posted a picture of cupcakes on social media. It was subsequently discovered that former OKC player Kendrick Perkins was known for calling teammates he deemed soft, “cupcakes.”
When Durant later went to play in Oklahoma City after leaving the team, fans taunted him by holding cupcake signs, shouting the term at him from the stands as he played and even dressing up as cupcakes. However, Durant’s new Golden State Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green answered back at the postgame press conference in cupcake t-shirts of their own.
Since then, Durant has completely taken a term that was meant to belittle him and turned it on its head. Or better yet, with his latest Nike KDX Red Velvet shoes, on its feet. The sneakers will be available for $150 beginning on Sep. 1.
A back view of Nike’s KDX Red Velvet sneakers.Courtesy of Nike.com
Concepts Has a Must-Have Collab on the Way With French Comfort Brand Mephisto
By Barbara Schneider-Levy
Your parents might own a pair, and maybe even your grandparents. But that shouldn’t stop you from stepping into your own pair of Mephisto’s Match lace-up style. The upscale French brand, known for its comfort looks, is taking a fashion stand via a collaboration with sneaker retailer Concepts. The store, with locations in Cambridge, Mass., and New York, is putting a daring spin on the ghillie-laced style, updating it in shocking magenta and cool mint. The shoes retail for $375.
While the shoes stray from convention when it comes to aesthetics, the comfort features remain intact. They’re leather-lined, and sport a white midsole on top of a natural gum sole for some bounce when walking. They also boast Mephisto’s patented Soft-Air technology for tireless walking, and padded collar and tongue that protect against pressure at the top of the foot and behind the ankle.