Monday, August 15, 2016
In 1957, Moscow played host to the VI International Youth and Student Festival. Over 34,000 foreigner visitors came to the capitol with many wearing sneakers. These fascinated the Soviets who had never seen the unusual rubber-soled shoes before. Three years later the USSR started mass production of sneakers Various models were popular however, the best among them and the most desired ones were the models of the Soviet-Chinese production, in particular Dva Myacha (Two Balls) sneakers which cost only four rubles. The new trend caught on quickly and no self-respecting Muscovite was without a pair. But fashions change and by the 80s Russia made sneakers had become passé. Fashion buffs dreamed of Adidas whilst domestic footwear became associated with underachievers who did not have access to foreign goods.
In 2013, young entrepreneurs came up with the idea to revive the legendary brand. Yevgeny Raikov from Moscow, found an old plant with maintained original from forty years ago and used new technologies to make the new Two Matches sneakers more comfortable. A pair of the new Russian kicks costs 4,000 rubles ($60). Since the beginning of July more than 1,000 pairs of Two Matches have been sold. According to the manufacturer nostalgic middle-aged buyers make up only 30 percent of the clientele, the rest are young people. The company are planning to add many more models to the collection, some of which will form a retro collection of the sneakers that were produced from 1965 to 1976.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Ding Shizhong is a self-made billionaire passionate about shoes. He owns Chinese sportswear giant ANTA. Shizhong dreamt of helping his family's financial burden when he was 1, and began selling shoes his father made at home, In 1994, he started ANTA. Initially sportswear brands benefited from the surge in interest in sports following the 2008 Beijing Olympics but an oversaturation in the local sportswear sector meant there was a critical slowdown in sales. ANTA soldiered on and under the direction of Shizhong crafted a multi-brand strategy to engage a diverse Chinese consumer market. In 2009, the company acquired Fila's loss-making Chinese arm, positioning ANTA label as a high-end sports market outlet in China. Fila revenues have been growing at an average of 40 percent over the past five years. As part of the same strategy the company went into a joint venture with Descente (Japan), which specializes in winter sports equipment and apparel and more acquisitions are in the pipeline.
Among ANTA’s most high profile investments are partnerships with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in China and the Chinese Olympic Committee. The company's endorsement and shoe deal with the Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson resulted in the development of the point guard's signature and top selling ANTA KT Fire basketball shoes.
ANTA dressed the Chinese national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
In his new book Phil Knight tells the story of Nike, from its creation in 1962 until it went public in 1980. It details the story of an MBA graduate with a crazy idea of importing running shoes from Japan to the multi-million dollar company it would become. Knight emerges as an obsessive, driven individual who was not above descending to dubious business tactics when necessary. Surrounded by his core management team, known in frat-boy parlance as "the Buttfaces" he forged ahead where no other Shoe Dog went before. Great read .