We’re not even a week into the New Year but we’re already interested in predicting what will happen in footwear in 2018.
Rather than rely strictly on our own ethos, we chatted up an array of industry insiders at Agenda Long Beach to get their takes on what they expect for the year that’s just began.
From brand battles to baggy pants versus fitted, hear what they’re expecting for 2018.
Will Nike or adidas have the juice this year?
Dionte Johnson of Sole Classics: It’s interesting because everybody has seen Nike gain ground even though they’ve always controlled the market. There’s a lot more energy for them, but how does that trickle down? We’ve seen a lot of these exclusive pieces, but how does that transcend to the rest of their lineup? It was easier for adidas because they had Boost — it’s not like the Nike is as about the tech, it’s more about the collaboration. With Boost, even if you missed on the collab you could still by the tech. I think we’ll still see a lot of special projects from Nike this year, but I wanna see how they make it relate to the rest of their line.
Jon Barretto of Fully Laced/’47 Brand: Whoever is doing the coolest shit and has it relevant now. All the big trends have kind of come and gone, so you’ve gotta do what makes you happy and what’s hot with your customers.
Rick Williams of Burn Rubber/Distinct Life: Right now it seems like it’s swinging back to Nike and Jordan. Obviously Kanye is what made adidas pop and you have the Pharrell stuff, but I feel it’s Kanye that still moves the needle. Still, they need to keep it moving and keep innovating.
Is baggy coming back or will other outfit trends influence sneaker style?
Rick Williams: I still see a lot of people wearing fitted pants. I’ve worn pants both ways and the more fitted way is almost tailored for sneakers. Because of that I push people more that way when they come to shop.
Jon Barretto: Vintage is always going to be hot. People still talk about ’90s vintage and Polo and ’80s rock tees will never go anywhere, but is 2000s vintage now?
Dionte Johnson: Everything that was trending fashion wise is kind of settling down so I think you have people comfortable in pretty much anything. Nothing is unacceptable because we’ve explored everything so quickly. I think the hardest part for footwear is figuring out what silos look good with a variety of things. When ASICS and running was booming it was because we tapered a lot of our clothes. Even at the Agenda Show, you’re seeing so many different styles worn comfortably.
Will the Instagram influencer model for brands still work in 2018 or is it played out?
Dionte Johnson: I still think people will continue to do it but I do think the consumer is starting to become aware of what’s going on. I don’t think it will have as much impact, but still that’s what people have in their hands all the time. I think all in all, people understand there’s a motive and it’s not as genuine as it once appeared. And IG is making people label things as advertisements. You’re seeing so many entertainers getting quick endorsements and it’s getting watered down.
Jon Barretto: The IG trendsetters are still growing on an everyday basis and that’s who you want to send product to. Not necessarily the ones with the most followers, but the ones who interact and engage most with their followers.
What shoes are on the way up for 2018 and which are on the way out?
Jon Barretto: I’m still a fan of Nike SB and I hope they come back. I’m also a fan of comfort and tech over fashion. I still like wearing Boost and I don’t think they’re going away. But, you’ve gotta find the fine line behind making something rare and limited and having distribution where you’re making money.
Dionte Johnson: Just leaving a meeting with Vans, I’m interested to see what will happen with the Old Skool and what will happen with the Checkerboard print. They had a very good last two years and a lot of people don’t wanna see it overdone, but at the same time they’ve become such a wardrobe staple. I’m interested to see what happens. As far as what’s on the rise, I feel like the playing field has been evened. I’d love to see a resurgence for basketball and I think the LeBron 15 is a step in the right direction. Basketball had so much energy when I was growing up. I’m seeing LeBron 15s off court in Ohio, but it’s still a tougher shoe to wear with jeans than his previous silos. I wonder what brands are going to do in regards to new silhouettes because we’ve seen so much nostalgia that it’s on its way out and old silos have ran their course. We have all these talented young creators and designers that we have to see new silos or it’s gonna turn into Groundhog’s Day. That’s why I say a basketball resurgence because I feel like that category is always a bit more forward.
Rick Williams: Nike has been bringing back the Air Force 1 but I think it has some momentum because of the way they ended ’17. I think that’s going to be a staple. I’m looking forward for these chunky shoes to go out of style, and I’m a dad!