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Fashion Belongs to Sneakerheads

With the athleisure trend that gripped fashion in Fall Winter 2013 showing no signs of waning, the humble sneakers have not only gained major fashion credit but has also emerged as the single most important category in footwear for men and women.

The google search index for sneakers have quadrupled between 2012 and 2016. And if that wasn’t good enough data point to underline the world dominance of sneakers, athleisure brand Adidas recently declared that its sneakers sales have doubled in the past three years, thanks to the many celebrity associations (Yeezyboost with rapper, social media star and most importantly Kim Kardashian’s husband Kanye Wesy; Human Race with singer Pharrel Williams).
“Happy” singer Pharrel’s line of pop coloured Human Race sneakers characterised by the words Human and Race in bold black font, launched less than a month ago by Adidas has pipped the ever popular Yeezyboost line of sneakers by Kanye West in the past two months, in terms of audience interest, with an 89:6 search result ratio in the last month.

And while the sneakers come in a sunshine yellow, black, red, green and orange, here’s an instance of how orange is stronger than green in the world of social media. Pharrel William’s beach side picture wearing tangerine Human Race Adidas trainers fetched him 137k double taps about eight weeks ago. That’s more than 37% higher fan engagement compared to the foot shot taken wearing green Human Race sneakers.

Orange seems to be the fourth most popular colour even for Indian male consumers when it comes to buying sneakers. The top three colours for both men and women are of course black, blue and white across leading Indian sites, with black being the most popular colour. Not much of a surprise there given that black is an easy colour to maintain, and can be teamed up with everything from gym wear to casual wear.

Also, the big boys of Bollywood seem to be making a strong case for black sneakers. Arjun Kapoor’s black-sneaker look received 86k likes on Instagram, beating his yellow Nike sneakers outing with MS Dhoni (69k likes).  Even with Dhoni by his side, his fans seem to favour him more in black sneakers.

The only constant in style maven Ranveer Singh’s recent holiday pictures from Switzerland is his trusted black sneakers, fetching him a total of 332.6k likes across three images. That’s more than the average engagement his posts receive. And when Shahid Kapoor posted a picture of his black sneakers saying “living in these”, it garnered him 22.8k likes on Instagram. As far as design goes, the prominently displayed Nike swoosh prominently displayed, the Adidas Stan Smith with its three side panels and light weight sneakers with mesh detailing seem to be customer favourites.

According to a report by kickposters.com, the most liked sneaker brand on Instagram in terms of total likes in 2015 was Adidas, a total of 80 millions likes, followed by Vans at 40 million likes and Nike at 30 million likes.

In May last year, Adidas relaunched an old favourite – the pristine white Stan Smith sneakers, which retails for a steep Rs 12,000 in India, and yet is a hot favourite among millennial fashionistas and bloggers, despite being high maintenance.

As for Bollywood, the ladies in tinsel town can’t seem to have enough of their Stan Smiths sporting them repeatedly with their casual wardrobe.  A –listers including Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha and Athiya Shetty jointly pulled in a massive 1131.1k red hearts on Instagram through their white sneaker posts. That’s an average of 140k+ likes on each post.

Stan Smith’s google search index has grown more than two fold since its launched in May last year, proving its soaring popularity.

Blue and black sneakers, like the popular consumer, seem to be a favourite with Bollywood fashionistas as well with Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha and Katrina Kaif wearing them as part of their airport look.

So there you have it- simple, clean lines and pared down aesthetic in basic colours such as black, blue and white seem to are what the athleisure loving consumer along with their celebrity style idols are loving at the moment

By: Piali Dasgupta

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