An unexpected by-product of an industry in tough times is that some things that were once entertained at factory level are suddenly no longer on the menu. One manifestation is pressure on minimum orders. Gone are the days apparently when the factory would happily produce 20 pairs for promo purposes. Perhaps this partly explains the slowdown in colab projects in the past 18 months, not to mention the fact that supplies of Quickstrikes and Tier Zero have practically dried up. This in turn has put huge pressure on boutique retailers, many of whom were reliant on these types of products being created specifically for them.
Are we seeing creativity and experimentation stifled in the name of economic rationalisation? Absofuckinglutely! There is no doubt about it.
Although it’s clear that conservative colours applied to vulcanised shoes are king right now on a trend level, this style shift is clouded by the ‘chicken or the egg’ argument. Which came first? I have been told by one insider that pressure from the factories (to cut wastage of materials) and from retailers (to cut costs), does in part explain the proliferation of single colour shoes in outrageous combos of black, gray or white.
Say goodbye to your New Balances made from fluoro kangaroo scrotum chaps, the days of nutty low-run shoes might be gone for the forseeable future.
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