Millennial shoe shoppers are clamoring for these fashion staples of the ’60s and ’70s

In 2016, Stan Smiths and other classic, original, or otherwise retro footwear have infiltrated the closet of the every-day man. And pop culture and sneaker culture deserve a lot of the credit.

Source: www.marketwatch.com

What’s old is new again.

Classic minimalist kicks such as the Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe shown above have been a fixture at fashion events around the world for years. But in 2016, Stan Smiths and other classic, original or retro footwear have made their way into the closets of the everyman. And pop culture and sneaker culture deserve a lot of the credit.

The classic footwear category has grown more than 29% in 2016 through October, according to a blog post from NPD Group footwear analyst Matt Powell. That’s five percentage points greater than at the same time last year.

“The overall classics category is currently the strongest player in the athletic footwear market,” Powell wrote in his post. “To further illustrate the power of this trend, classic footwear was among the top-five performing categories, in terms of dollar sales, the week before Thanksgiving.”

For now, it’s a level playing field for companies aiming to tap the interest in classics, but Adidas AG ADS, +0.73% seems to have found a way to run up the score on the competition.

Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer talked to the Wall Street Journal about his personal sneaker collection, what he’s learned never to do as a CEO, and whether he’d rather go hiking with Kanye West or sing karaoke with Lionel Messi. Photo: Gerdo Vladimir/Zuma Press

The German shoe and apparel company was recently named to Ad Age’s top 10 marketers of the year list, as it regained its place as the second biggest sports brand in the U.S., just behind Nike Inc. NKE, -0.72% and ahead of Under Armour Inc.UA, -1.24%

For Adidas’s most recent quarter, the company reported revenue rose 17% to $5.8 billion, while its original footwear segment — the term it uses to describe its retro product line — saw a 50% bump compared with the same period a year ago.

Last year Adidas sold nearly 8 million pairs of its Stan Smith shoe — the model dates to the mid-1960s and has carried the name of the U.S. tennis player since early in the following decade — worldwide.

“At Adidas Originals, we are very aware of out current success in the market,” the senior director of sales for the category, Pascha Naderi-Najed, told MarketWatch via email. “However, we understand that staying authentic to our customer is the biggest priority.”

The resurgence of classics in sportswear culture “connects back to our roots.”

Adidas has been chipping away at industry leader Nike’s market share, along with Under Armour, and the share loss could accelerate, according to analysts at Cowen and Co., led by John Kernan. Increasingly, millennial consumers — 18- to 34-year-olds, roughly — are shifting their brand preference to Adidas and away from Nike and Jordan Brand, Kernan wrote in a recent note to clients.

Though Adidas’ Originals are a step ahead of the competition, Powell said that for the most part all of the brands are finding ways to cash in on the retro trend, which…[read the full article at www.marketwatch.com]