From Nike To Gucci, Women Are Ditching Their Heels For Sneakers And Enjoying A Huge ROI – Forbes
Women are wearing sneakers to the office – taking business casual to business comfortable
If you want to know the hottest trend in office attire, just look down. You may be surprised at what you see. Black pumps and ballet flats are increasingly being replaced with trendy, stylish (and oftentimes exorbitantly expensive) sneakers. Yes, sneakers.
Clean, white sneakers look professional and pair well with dresses and pants
The trend toward more casual work attire began pre-pandemic, but work from home accelerated the shift from work casual to work comfortable. And as employees return to the office, they appear unwilling to give up the comfort. In fact, according to research firm NPD, sales of dressy footwear are still 34% below 2019 levels. Instead, casual sneakers are now the most common shoes for work. And women are successfully wearing them with dresses as well as pants.
“Because of the pandemic, we got away from structured clothing, heels for women and dress shoes for men,” says George Brescia. The stylist, red carpet commentator and author explains, “As we’re easing back into our lives, we still have all the fabulous sneakers that we bought, and we want to wear them. Our lives have become more casual – even as we start to go back to the office.”
Golden Goose GGDB sneakers on the streets of Paris
Thankfully, there is a way for today’s employees to be both comfortable and professional. The global sneaker market is huge and growing, expected to reach $196 billion by 2030. This means employees have choices. Brands and retailers are now offering finely curated selections of low (like Veja), mid (like Golden Goose) and high-end (like Gucci) sneakers.
The adidas X Gucci Gazelle sneaker retails for $850
In fact, Gucci and Adidas recently collaborated on the $850 Gazelle sneaker. The shoe mixes a retro feel (with the old school Adidas trefoil logo and three stripes) with the high-end design of Gucci. “The fact that Gucci and Adidas are doing a collab is a real benchmark for how ubiquitous sneakers are,” says Abby Arad. The LA-based celebrity stylist says a collaboration like this means the sneaker is everywhere, and it’s not going away.
Jean Shafiroff (center), with Lucia Hwong Gordon and Jeffrey Michael Anderson, wearing Oscar de le … [+]
And while a clean, neat pair of sneakers is now acceptable in many work environments, they are also being seen in more formal settings. Jean Shafiroff recently attended a charity event in an Oscar de la Renta dress and, you guessed it, a brand-new pair of white Christian Louboutin sneakers. The philanthropist, author and influencer says, “wearing sneakers with a dress is very high fashion. When you put them on with a dress, you look about 20 years younger.”
And women of every age are wearing them. “Older women are so excited that it’s chic and comfortable and on trend. They’ve been doing it for years and they’re like – ok, now we’re the cool girls,” says Brescia.
However you choose to wear your sneakers, Diane Marz, the founder and content creator behind the blog Petite in Paris, offers the following tips:
· Crisp white sneakers are the best investment…as they can be easily paired with both a solid-colored dress and a patterned or striped dress. White sneakers are the equivalent to black heels, it’s a must have staple piece for every closet.
· If you are wearing colorful sneakers it is best to choose a neutral-colored dress.
· Wear low cut socks or no socks at all. If you are wearing low socks, make sure they either match the shoes or are a neutral color.
Sneakers as an Alternative Asset
If you can’t justify splurging on the adidas X Gucci Gazelles, consider this. Sneakers may actually turn out to be a good investment. While the current U.S. sneaker resale market is estimated to be about $2 billion, it is expected to skyrocket to $30 billion by 2030. This growth will largely come from value appreciation. Unlike our old Keds that weren’t worth much after a season or two, many of today’s sneakers actually increase in value as initial supply is often limited and collaborations are fleeting and tough to get your hands on.
Still not convinced? Note that sneaker resale platforms have begun to attract the attention of savvy VCs. GOAT and StockX – two of the most well-known – have recently raised funds at a $3.8 billion and $3.7 billion valuation, respectively. And if you can’t afford a pair of expensive sneakers but still want in on the investment, several of these platforms allow for fractional ownership. Brands like Nike and Adidas are selling sneaker NFTs and even Sotheby’s has a whole section on their website for sneaker resale.
Jean Shafiroff and CeeLo Green – Dress: Oscar de la Renta, Gold Sneakers: Christian Louboutin.
Much like denim in the 1950s, sneakers too have become part of mainstream society. They are no longer reserved for sweaty workouts. Instead, they have found an acceptable place both at work and on the red carpet. So, grab that cool new pair of sneakers. And then either wear them or sell them. Or better yet, wear them and then sell them.
As Shafiroff so aptly put it, “2022 is the year of the sneaker!”