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The regional Skechers design and marketing team talks us through their collaboration with Hasbro on a new TRANSFORMERS collection.
Guys, thanks for making time to chat. Before we dive into your TRANSFORMERS range, can you talk us through the origins of the company?
Skechers started in 1992 and one of our earliest successes was the introduction of the iconic D’Lites collection fronted by our first global brand ambassador and pop icon, Britney Spears. This collection quickly grew in popularity among the youth for its chunky dad design, which is still trending today.
With a vision to offer comfortable and stylish footwear to a wide range of consumers, Skechers as a brand has continued to innovate its footwear technology while responding to changing demands of consumers. Over the years, we have not only diversified our product offerings but also positioned ourselves as a leader in the lifestyle and performance footwear industry.
“We are extremely selective when it comes to collaborating with IPs.”
And brand collaborations have proved to be a key part of that journey?
Yes! This vision also led us to explore immense potential in collaborating with iconic brands and IPs to create collections that would not only resonate with our existing customer base, but also attract new audiences. The idea of bringing beloved characters and franchises into the world of footwear was incredibly exciting to us… It adds a layer of self-expression for our customers, allowing them to wear their favourite brands and characters on their feet.
What makes a brand appealing for Skechers?
We are extremely selective when it comes to collaborating with IPs. Our strategy involves discovering IPs that are not only popular, but also align with our ethos and have a fan base that we can genuinely connect with. TRANSFORMERS – being a global phenomenon with a rich legacy and mass appeal – was a natural fit for us to work with.
Yes! Let’s talk about this new TRANSFORMERS collection. Can we dig a little further into why this brand felt right to partner with?
There are several reasons why collaborating with Hasbro and TRANSFORMERS was an appealing decision for us.
Firstly, TRANSFORMERS is a franchise with mass appeal and a dedicated fan base that spans generations; from those who grew up with the original toys and cartoons nearly 40 years ago, to today’s young fans who are discovering the TRANSFORMERS universe through new movies and series. This wide demographic aligns perfectly with Skechers’ commitment to creating footwear that caters to both families and the young at heart.
Additionally, there is a strong underlying connection between TRANSFORMERS and Skechers. The TRANSFORMERS brand embodies concepts of adventure, innovation and the idea that something ordinary can become extraordinary… These values resonate deeply with our own philosophy of transforming the footwear industry by creating innovative and comfortable shoes while allowing for self-expression through style.
“Authenticity is central to our collaboration strategy.”
This collaboration allowed us to combine our commitment to style, comfort and innovation with a beloved brand that encourages us all to reach new heights in our everyday lives. It’s a partnership that brings out the best in both worlds and has resulted in an extraordinary footwear collection that fans of all ages can enjoy. We look forward to continue pushing the boundaries of footwear design and innovations with future collections such as this.
What kickstarted the design process? How did you get to grips with the IP?
Authenticity is central to our collaboration strategy. As such, the design process for our Skechers x TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS collection began with a deep dive into the TRANSFORMERS universe.
Through a collaborative effort with the Hasbro team to guide us through the intricacies of the IP, we gained valuable insights into the rich history, characters and evolving narratives of the Transformers franchise. This allowed us to not only identify, but also appreciate the most relevant and exciting elements that we could incorporate into the collection.
From there, we explored various design directions that would authentically represent the TRANSFORMERS franchise while aligning with Skechers’ commitment to comfort, quality and style. This collaborative approach ensured that the collection would resonate with fans of both brands, while also introducing new demographics to the TRANSFORMERS universe in a meaningful and fashionable way.
Talk us through some of your favourite design details in the collection?
When we created this collection, our goal was to capture the essence of these iconic characters into every detail of our footwear. From Arcee, Bumblebee and Mirage to Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal, one of the standout features is the repeated silver metallic debossed print of the TRANSFORMERS logo on the outer layer… It’s a subtle yet distinctive nod to the franchise that we believe fans will truly appreciate.
Additionally, each individual footwear design also showcases a unique tribute to specific characters. Take for example Bumblebee. Known for qualities such as determination and bravery, we mirrored these traits into design as well as including bold contrasts of black and yellow that’s reminiscent of paint scheme on the 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
Another example is Optimal Primal, a character that made his live-action debut in the TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS movie. As we wanted to commemorate this significant moment in style, these shoes embody his gorilla-themed animal form with the striking black-brown colour palette.
For those that prefer more casual footwear like our Foamies, we had some fun with colours. In our kids’ Foamies: Hypno-Splash collection, we went with vibrant blues, yellows, reds and blacks, inspired by the intergalactic world of Transformers. As for the adults’ Foamies: Arch Fit Horizon, we chose black, white, brown, grey, rose and lime green, paying homage to the diversity of characters and the entire TRANSFORMERS universe.
Our passion for authenticity and attention to detail has truly brought these designs to life, ensuring that every wearer can step into the world of TRANSFORMERS with every pair of Skechers.
As you mentioned earlier, this isn’t Skechers’ first foray into brand collaborations. So what is the key to crafting great footwear based on IP?
The key to crafting great footwear based on brands lies in our ability to design from the perspective of consumers. While keeping comfort top of mind, we put ourselves in the shoes of our customers – quite literally! – and envision what they would like and what would resonate with them.
So, when we collaborate with iconic brands like TRANSFORMERS, we approach the design process with the same consumer-centric mindset. We combine the essence of the brand with Skechers’ dedication to comfort, quality and style, resulting in a range of footwear that not only celebrates the brand, but also offers the kind of comfort and style that our consumers expect from Skechers.
It’s about ensuring that our footwear is not just a reflection of the brand, but also an embodiment of the values and expectations of our consumers.
Last question! How do you fuel your creativity?
Fuelling our creativity for a brand like TRANSFORMERS is a unique experience because it’s such a classic and iconic franchise that’s close to the hearts of many – including our design team. This familiarity with the characters and the story provides us with a rich pool of ideas when we embarked on designing the TRANSFORMERS range.
The challenge is translating these ideas into tangible, wearable designs and that’s where our collaboration with Pacific Licensing and the Hasbro team – along with access to the TRANSFORMERS style guide – became invaluable. Working closely with Pacific Licensing and the Hasbro team, we were able to streamline our ideas and bring them to life in a way that only resonates with us, but also with all the fans of TRANSFORMERS out there.
It’s through a collaborative effort that combines our creativity with the rich history and iconic elements of the brand that resulted in a truly remarkable and comfortable footwear that celebrates the essence of TRANSFORMERS.
Guys, a big thanks again and congrats again on your TRANSFORMERS collection.
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