First let’s get rid of a few misconceptions that may pop up: The Nike Yeezy was based on Andre Agassi’s tennis shoe. The Stan Smith is a tennis shoe. The all white classic K-Swiss is a tennis shoe. Before anyone says that people don’t wear tennis shoes, remember we call sneakers “tennis” shoes. Everyone wears tennis shoes.
Now, the question of whether a women’s shoe can transition over to men’s wear is also one that really doesn’t have to be answered. A year ago Nike/Jordan Brand changed the designation of girl’s Jordan retro releases to GG. These shoes were designed with girls specifically in mind. Prior to the designation change, girls shoes stopped at size 7Y, just like the BG/GS counterparts. The sizing was 3.5Y to 7Y. When the designation of GG arrived for girl’s sizing, the shoe size was also increased from 3.5Y to 7Y to include sizes up to 9.5Y (http://news.nike.com/news/jordan-brand-expands-grade-school-sizing-for-girls). While Jordan said this was for girls, in the sneaker world everyone knew that this was a move to capitalize on colors that guys with smaller feet would buy. As soon as the sizes moved up, guys were buying Jordans made with girls in mind.
Those are Jordans though. Serena is the greatest athlete of all time, but she’s a woman. Will a signature shoe release, or even this tennis Court Ace in the Bred colorway crossover? It’s not a GG. It’s a women’s shoe release. Last year Nike began making a stream of Air Huarache’s for women that had some fantastic colorways. Many of my customers were men who bought the shoes in the bigger sizing. Do I think this colorway of the Court Flare will crossover?
Yes. I also think this will be the moment where Nike can actually gauge the interest in Serena as a signature athlete. I also think that this shoe can potentially hit the resale market. The Bred colorway is infamous. It’s similar in appeal to the Black/Cement colorway of the Retro 3. A few years ago Nike made a tennis shoe for Zoom Vapor Tour 9 and added elements of the Retro 3 via color blocking. That shoe isn’t as technical as Serena’s Flare. It’s a basic shoe without the built in ankle brace, but I think the accomplishment and tie in to 23 is strong enough to create a connection for buyers. The Tour 9 x 3 is reselling for 225 to 500 dollars a pair.
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