Reaction was swift when California-based denim brand True Religion re-launched into the footwear category.
“We put it up and less than seven days later we sold out,” shared chief marketing officer Tara Peyrache, who told Footwear News that consumer interest was overwhelming when the label released a line of sleek sneaker-boots in December that were designed in-house — a first for the brand.
A restock is in the works for the end of April, with prices at $185 for the unisex high-tops at special stores and online.
The footwear features a semi-soft nappa leather upper, gold-tone detail embossed with a horseshoe logo and a honeycomb pattern on the sole. Colorways include midnight black, ice white and crimson. A special edition of the shoe was designed in denim.
Previously, the jeans brand licensed out its name in fall 2007 with GMI Footwear, and then in spring 2011, the label partnered with Titan Industries Inc. on a collection of nearly 30 styles, including flats, wedges and stilettos in metallic hues and bright exotic skins.
But this time around, the streetwear-focused brand is staying true to its roots by designing from within.
“There’s a fashion aesthetic that works within the brand DNA,” Peyrache said. “That’s a place where we play very well with our core consumer. What we’ve seen with the footwear world is a strong fashion point of view and we want to be a part of that.”
Below, Peyrache shares more on True Religion’s strategy and style.
Footwear News: What influenced the look of the shoes for this iteration?
Tara Peyrache: “Everything that we are doing is what the consumer is asking for. They think the horseshoe (logo) is a valuable status symbol. We thought the horseshoe had to be integrated into the shoe design moving forward. The brand is coming from a streetwear-inspired point-of-view from design and has evolved into a particular category — shoes.”
FN: What were some challenges?
TP: “When we had the first launch the demand exceeded our expectations and we found we weren’t meeting in size 12 and up or 7 and below because the shoe was orchestrated in unisex sizing, but when we saw what people were asking for you could tell it was a genderless design. What we are trying to address is ensure we have the assortment for all of those sizes.”
FN: What was True Religion’s strategy for launching footwear again this time around?
TP: “We launched it in a soft way. The demand overwhelmingly exceeded the expectations. Fans were beyond excited about it. We were pleased with what happened with our soft launch. From there we will see the potential with specialty retailers and beyond. When we put it out there we were just excited and cautiously optimistic.”
FN: What was your marketing strategy?
TP: “We feel really connected to our base on Instagram. There are so many people that send us their content based on how they styled their looks based on jeans and footwear. We had to treat the footwear launch the same way anyone else. We looked at it like a drop. We took that same approach, ironically for us when we dropped it, it sold out a lot faster than we thought. We went back to our team. We wanted to make sure we captured those customers and let them know when we will restock. We want them to be serviced 100-percent.”