Its been very interesting watching Adidas making moves on Nike these last six months or so. Back in September we heard the news that 3 key designers were leaving Nike to begin at the three strips early 2015. Adidas plan for them to head a new design studio in Brooklyn NY with the intention of exploring the design direction of the brand.
Since that news we have seen collaborations with Pharrell, Rita Ora and in particular Kanye West who left Nike himself after a difference of opinion over the future of Yeezy. Behavioral economics will refer to it as hype but there are many layers to this shift of power. The first is simple perception and the multiplier effect – if cool shifts to Adidas; expect hundreds of thousands of shoppers to switch allegiance as part of sheer pop culture.
Worse still for Nike is the influencer category and the power of unoffical endorsement. The popularity of Stan Smiths at fashion week is quite noticeable. The perfect storm has hit Nike where it hurts because of the popularity of trainers/sneakers in every day fashion. Influencers have medium-long term effects on a brand.
As a final note, Adidas will sell out of Kanye’s Yeezy collection not due to design but popularity and exposure. This is naturally heightened by the utter exposure him and his wife have on social media. If you were to delve a touch deeper, it wont go unnoticed by the music industry that Kanye released the first track ‘Wolves’ off his upcoming album during the Yeezy collection release.