Skateboarding is riding high on its debut as a competitive sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, generating fresh interest through a new wave of inspirational young professionals.
An alfresco activity sympathetic to social distancing, the pastime is gaining attention from Gen Z enthusiasts and is ready to be harnessed in retail. Read about the strategies on how to start selling skatewear now.
Want to know how brands like Mango and Chloé harness retail data in their decision making? Reach out for a demo today.
Highlight relevant fabric tech
Resilience is key for the sport - ensure products with the ability to withstand rough rides are a priority in communications.
Retailers such as Boden and Tu at Sainsbury's are among those offering enhanced protection, the former a range of bottoms with "Warrior Knees."
Draw attention to FW21 arrivals featuring reflective features that will improve consumers' visibility as they skate during the darker winter months.
Uniqlo's "Ultra Light Down" outerwear argues the case for less bulky products that don't compromise on functionality.
Infuse stories with current arrivals
Satisfy the immediate demand for the skate aesthetic by handpicking relevant pieces from your FW21 intake. Use the influence of key stories like Soft Utility, The Great Outdoors and Preppy to select appropriate shapes.
Images via Lmn3 / Elementary Fall 2021, Andorine Fall 2021, Fila Fall 2021, Natasha Zinko x DUOltd Fall 2021
Images via Mipounet Fall 2021, Infantium Victoria Fall 2021, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro Fall 2021, Kolor Fall 2021
Utilize SkateTok and influencers
Ensure your communications are relevant to a digitally fluent young consumer, looking to popular social media destinations like TikTok and YouTube for guidance on tricks, trends and the names to know. Currently, the hashtag #Skateboarding has 13.1 billion views on TikTok.
Rayssa Leal - A name cropping up at the Tokyo Olympics, the Brazilian skateboarder gained 5.8 million followers on Instagram following her inspirational performance at the Games.
Sky Brown - The 13-year-old Olympic bronze medalist is the youngest Nike-sponsored athlete in the world, with accolades extending to her own Barbie doll and a published book.
Jagger Eaton - Professional skateboarding history aside, the 20-year-old caught the headlines recently when he extended an invite to the skatepark to Justin Bieber.
Cocona Hiraki - Japan's youngest ever athlete to take part in the Olympic Games took silver in the women's park final.
Acknowledge the Skater Girl
Following the success of the aforementioned female skateboarders at the Tokyo Olympics, interest in the sport has seen a drastic uptick - according to Skateboarding GB there has been a 21% increase in female skateboarders in the UK. Despite this, and looking across a selection of childrenswear retailers, EDITED's data indicates that skateboarding products currently in stock hold the smallest proportion for girlswear.
With momentum for the aesthetic sustained into 2022 through postponed events like the World Skate Games, harnessing this audience could be the key to unlocking a wider demographic. Consider pursuing USPs like Sky Brown's tagline "Do it 'cause you love it!" as a slogan on graphic tees, or identifying with the vast anime market and replicating influential female skateboarders as cartoon characters.
Look ahead to licensing openings
Next year's film schedule consists of several major releases referencing skateboarding, offering a platform for retailers to build future assortments on. Industry legend Tony Hawk is set as the subject of a documentary by Sam Jones, providing retailers the chance to play the nostalgia card once again and stock products with old-school graphics of the skater at his peak.
Though little information is available yet, a 3D movie titled Skate God is set to drop in July 2022, following Oren, a skateboarder and descendant of Greek gods - this would be a valuable opportunity to keep tags on as a possible addition to licensed product.
Image via Instagram - Sam Jones Pictures
Reinterpret SS22 runway trends
Take the overarching stories from the men's Spring 2022 and women's Pre-Spring 2022 shows and recycle the trends within them for your teen demographic.
Beach dressing - longline hoodie, bucket hat, Bermuda shorts, paisley, pastels, neons, sporty sneakers, crochet
Utility/Y2K: cargo trousers/shorts, chunky sneakers, tech fabrics, canvas, unisex all in ones
Athleisure: track pants, crop tops, performance leggings, retro logos, color-blocking, primary hues, slogans
Normcore: baggy jeans, longline Cuban collar shirts, distressed denim, acid wash, nostalgic graphics, cartoon imagery
Images via Prada Spring 2022, Burberry Pre-Spring 2022, Stella McCartney Pre-Spring 2022, Dhruv Kapoor Spring 2022