Lululemon Unveils Women’s Footwear Collection, Performance Is Essential – Footwear News

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Lululemon launched its first-ever shoe collection today – consisting of four different silhouettes that will be released over the course of the year.

The collection kicks off with the Blissfeel running shoe, which will be available for purchase in North America, mainland China and the UK from March 22. Two other training shoes, the Chargefeel and the Strongfeel, and a recovery slide, the Restfeel, will also be launched later this year. Prices for the sneakers will range between $128 and $148, with the slide-on priced at $58.

“Since our inception, we’ve pushed this philosophy of performance apparel and it’s been the brand’s core philosophy,” said Chantelle Murnaghan, vice president of research and science for product innovation at Lululemon. “And it was such a natural extension of that, because we’re constantly trying to bring new sensory experiences to our guests from head to toe.”

To launch the collection, Lululemon took a women-centric approach, drawing on data and scans of women’s shoes to create a shoe specifically designed for the female foot. The brand plans to launch a men’s shoe collection in 2023.

“Creating a full line of shoes for women first is really a completely different approach,” said Lululemon’s CEO. Calvin Mcdonald. “It’s not the women too. It’s women first.

Lululemon first announced it would enter the footwear market in April 2019 during the company’s annual analyst day. McDonald said the team had developed a range of shoes in-house following the success of its collaboration with sneaker brand APL, which launched in August 2017.

With the shoes, the athleisure brand based in Vancouver, Canada, enters a market of strong competition: sportswear giants Nike and Adidas have long held a large share of the market. However, smaller brands such as Allbirds, Brooks and Hoka One One have increasingly taken market share from traditional brands in recent months as they focus on winning over the performance-driven consumer.

Lululemon’s shoes, while fashionable and colorful, also play in the way of performance footwear.

“These are not fashion shoes,” said Matt Powell, sports industry adviser at NPD. “These are really designed for performance. I think that’s great. I think this is exactly the right place to be.

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