While I might hurt some feelings here, I have to say that Florsheim (before it started collaborating) made the 1st, ugliest-shoe-ever, which was called “Reva” and is pictured directly below in black and burgundy. This is the shoe that everyone’s great grandfather owned and LOVED!!! Then they discontinued it, which was probably the second smartest thing they have ever done. The act, though, that surpasses it for brightest idea is their recent collaboration with the fashion label, Duckie Brown. And what better way to save a company, that’s older than the dust on you grandfather’s bookshelf, then by hiring young fresh designers to update the looks and presentation of your fading product?? (Remember the Sebago post?) I applaud their decision though. Duckie Brown has not only brought them back from the dead but has completely revamped their whole ‘look,’ allowing Florsheim to now be considered chic and the type of product carried at designer fashion stores such as Barneys New York!
What I love about these collaborations is the fact that they usually bring something new and exciting to the shoe industry. Because a lot of these companies that are taking this step were previously so out of touch with what was going on and what customers ‘today’ wanted that it became time for them to either ‘do’ or ‘die.’ But the ‘doing’ usually involves a huge transition in the way that the product is now going to be perceived and who it is going to be purchased by. This, in turn, amounts to a great deal of risk for the company. Not only does it change their customer base, it could completely destroy their already fading image if not done properly.
I guarantee you that the same crowd that bought Florsheim and Sebago before are no longer the same crowd that purchases them now. I can tell you this because I would have never dreamed of buying either one but yet I acquired a pair of the Sebago’s and hope to get a couple more and the same for Florsheim + Duckie Brown. And I can really bet that the people who used to wear Florsheim products, like the Reva, look at these new Duckie Brown styles and think that the world has gone mad. But the reality of it, is that the world has gone back to sane, creating things that are unique and stylish allowing for a large step in the direction of better fashion!
So if the company manages to create a successful collaboration, much like Florsheim and Sebago, they then have the ability to come back stronger than ever!!!