Mizuno launches lifestyle sneaker line
Japanese sport brand Mizuno has made an emphatic entry into fashion, by launching a line of directional premium sneakers for the coming spring-summer. The new shoe collection is labelled Mizuno 1906 and has been developed by the group's Italian branch. It features three unisex models (Wave Sirius, Naos and Etamin) with about forty versions.
Mizuno 1906, the reference is to year the Japanese brand was founded, was created by Italian designer Andrea Borgini, who formerly worked with Philippe Model. He took inspiration from Mizuno's running expertise to create a sneaker collection featuring leather, distressed fabrics, glossy effects and mixed materials.
The line has a deliberately high price positioning, retailing for between €170 and €230, and it is for the time being available in France and Italy. Its launch will be marked by the opening of a retail corner at Paris' Galeries Lafayette Haussmann department store, and by a three-week event at Shinzo, a sneaker specialist in the French capital. For its first season, the collection will also be available at some twenty directional fashion stores in France, and about 120 in Italy, where Mizuno 1906 was showcased at the Pitti Uomo trade show last January.
But Mizuno has further plans for the line. "We are keen to expand on these markets, as well as in other countries, said Katiana René, in charge of marketing events and public relations at Mizuno. From next season, our European headquarters will lead the way in lifestyle. And within two to three years we envisage the launch of a more accessible retro running range."
After targeting the most directional fashion retailers, Mizuno 1906 would then be able to appeal to a wider audience of sneaker aficionados. In France for example, the forecast is to be present in 80 to 100 stores by 2020, whereas in Mizuno's traditional market, sport, the brand is available at some 120 retailers, including major multi-sport stores, specialists and pure players.
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