March Madness For Sneaker Style

NCAA Sneaker StyleIf you somehow haven’t noticed, March Madness is going on right now. Not only is it one of the greatest spectacles in sports, it’s also a sort of fashion show for sneaker heads. From Creighton’s Gregory Echenique’s hot pink kicks in honor of his coach’s wife who survived breast cancer to Wichita State’s Sean Ogirri’s shocking yellow shoes that match his electric play, there’s as much to watch for on the players’ feet as there is in game action. UNC, Cal, Georgetown, and Marquette’s teams were wearing customized 2012 Air Jordans. No doubt sneaker fans have been watching games to scope out new trends.

Like jeans and t-shirts, sneakers are a staple of the Millennial wardrobe, and many teens and 20-somethings elevate sneaker culture to high style. It helps that there are so many limited edition and one of a kind pairs of kicks to choose from. They’ve become so sought after that a few riots have broken out at stores carrying highly limited — and very expensive — special editions.

Part of growing up used to mean ditching sneakers for more expensive work-appropriate shoes, but older Millennials have changed that — think Mark Zuckerberg going to work in sandals. Sneakers have become perfectly appropriate for kids as well as adults, and instead of showing style maturity by lacing up a pair of oxfords (or putting on pumps), pulling on a pair of studded Converse by John Varvatos does the trick equally well because the sneakers are high style and laid back at the same time. It helps that haute couture brands, such as Christian Lacroix and Louis Vuitton, have embraced sneakers, as well as designer collaborations, including Yohji Yamamoto for Adidas, Liberty for Asics, and even Kanye West for Nike.

For all the high end collaborations, some sneaker fans just want to…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I follow the news because it’s there and I can't avoid it.”—Female, 28, ME

Nike has taken the gold in Olympic ad engagement with a focus on authenticity. The brand’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games campaign “stepped beyond” “Just Do It” with a series of spots showing average people pushing themselves beyond their limits. The response to the approach has been overwhelmingly positive–viewers of one ad featuring a mountain climber born without arms and legs called it their “new favorite Nike video.” The campaign exceeded “any other brand in engagement rates,” earning 6.7 million shares and 6.5 million likes and favorites since March. (MediaPost

Facebook is taking a new swipe at Snapchat with a new camera-first app for teens only. Lifestage, created by a 19-year-old former Facebook intern, reimagines the original Facebook experience for teens today with profile pages filled with video clips and filters. Currently, the app’s network is limited to high school and undergrad students—users over the age of 21 can only see their own profiles. However, teens can see the profiles of all other users, “inside and outside” their schools, which could make privacy a concern. Facebook’s previous standalone apps have not found much success, leading the site to shut down their Creative Labs division last year. (The Daily Dot,BuzzFeed)

Unable to compete with social media, The New York Times is putting an end to its Millennial news app. NYT Now was launched in 2014 in an effort to lure in young readers with conversational content at a discounted price. After failing to attract new users, the app dropped its paywall for a freemium model that let users read up to 10 free articles a month. The updated strategy still did little to bring in a younger audience, averaging 257,000 unique users in the past three months. (Business Insider

College students are increasingly taking their athletic talents off the field. At many colleges, you don’t need to play traditional sports like football, track, or lacrosse to be a star athlete—instead, students are opting for sports that require “little prerequisite talent and less on-field aggression,” like ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, fishing, and wood-chopping tournaments. Many of these alt-sport players discover the new competitive activities because they don’t fit the strict requirements to join other sports teams, and say inclusive team spirit and lack of competitive strife between opponents are major draws. (The Wall Street Journal

Most beauty brands are trying to draw in younger consumers, and Estée Lauder has strategic plans to keep Millennials happy. The brand’s recent profit boost was mostly generated by “color cosmetics brands like Estée Lauder, SmashboxMAC and Clinique,” but prestige fragrance and skin care continue to suffer. They plan to revive the segment by focusing on “selfie culture,” and count on the social media strategy that has fueled their makeup success to work on “instant-gratification” products like face masks and moisturizers. Partnerships with digital influencers, including those with lower but highly engaged followings, are also in the plans. (Fashionista)

Quote of the Day: “I like yoga because It can be used for the body, mind, breath, and soul if desired. I can do it alone or with other people. It can also be as short or long as I want.”—Female, 27, AR

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