Le Tigre’s Strategy for Capturing Casual Footwear Market Share

Words by Retail Bum

Le Tigre's Strategy for Capturing Casual Footwear Market Share
Le Tigre's Strategy for Capturing Casual Footwear Market Share

Modern consumers want to buy clothes and accessories that reflect their need for comfort, values, aspirations, and uniqueness.

Considering this, the intersection of casual aesthetics, comfort, and personalization signifies a fresh chapter in the fashion industry. One company that is actively adopting and integrating these principles to nurture customer loyalty and build a future centered around customer-centricity is Designer Brands.

In a conversation with Retail Bum, Mike Maloney, vice president and general manager overseeing Lucky Brand, Hush Puppies, Crown Vintage, and Le Tigre at Designer Brands, discussed the company’s strategic approach to meeting the growing demand for casual, comfortable wear. He also highlighted how harnessing insights and tapping into brand heritage can help create a compelling narrative and product that deeply connects with consumers.

“One of the big things is athletics and athleisure. It’s one of the largest opportunities in the marketplace,” said Maloney. “And when you look at our portfolio, that’s an opportunity we need to grow.”

Since the pandemic, comfort has become more than just a preference; it has become a necessity. That is particularly true for the footwear segment, which has seen an influx of sneakers, slip-on shoes, and hybrid designs that merge the best of both worlds: style and comfort. Take the Croc shoe, for instance.

The footwear brand has performed exceptionally well, to the extent that in June 2023, Crocs announced that its quarterly revenue had exceeded the billion-dollar milestone. Another shoe brand that has seen its popularity skyrocket since the start of the pandemic is the Birkenstock, which may soon be going public.

While style and comfort are top of mind, consumers are also seeking out brands that offer them greater value — a need Designer Brands is fulfilling with the expansion of Le Tigre’s in the footwear category.

According to Maloney, the brand has sought to distinguish itself by not only offering affordable options ranging from court shoes to running shoes to platforms but also tapping into its legacy and nostalgic appeal.

The brand, whose style can best be described as preppy yet unique, is also working with a Brooklyn-based digital marketing agency to better appeal to an audience that shares an appreciation for vintage-inspired and American heritage aesthetics while embracing a modern approach to design.

Le Tigre footwear can be found through DSW and The Shoe Company’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels, their online platforms, select wholesale partners, and the Le Tigre website.

Photo credit: DSW

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