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Sneakers are a girl’s best friend, too

Give a girl a pair of sneakers, and she can conquer the world confidently and comfortably. That, they said, was the intention of American footwear brand Keds when they created the first canvas-top sneakers, known as the Champion.

“Back in the day, women had to wear leather boots and uncomfortable high heels which were totally not practical,” Keds head of retail Karen Ong shared with Manila Standard.

When the label was founded in 1916, it launched the first pair of canvas-top and rubber-sole shoes made for women, who then had a few comfortable footwear options. 

“Keds basically gave them the freedom to have something accessible and fashion-forward, [a footwear] that allowed them to do the thing they wanted to do, go where they wanted to go, and chase all their aspirations,” added Ong. 

As timeless as the little black dress

The simple yet vital purpose of sneakers made them popular among young girls and older female. The said shoes were even worn by iconic celebrities and tastemakers such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Betty White, among many others. 

They were also featured in television and film: Jennifer Grey danced her way to Patrick Swayze’s heart wearing Champion in the movie Dirty Dancing, and Kelly Kapowski rocked her Keds pair in the halls of Bayside High in the hit sitcom Saved by the Bell.

Its no-fuss style made the pair a versatile fashion staple, transcending time and ever-changing trends.

“Keds’s classic and timeless style made it an icon,” Ong said when asked how the centenarian brand managed to appeal to today’s young ones. “It never goes out of fashion, it’s like a little black dress. It can go with anything.” 

Perhaps it also helps that sneakers have crawled their way from merely for athletics to a stylish fashion item. “A few years back, you only wear sneakers for sports. It’s not the case now. Sports is fashion,” emphasized the Keds official.

‘Ladies first since 1916’

A hundred years have passed and yet Keds still focuses on women and on offering them more sneaker selections. 

Ong said the brand’s market is close to 100 percent female, that, despite of them offering sneakers for men as well. “The Keds brand itself has always been about ladies first, and throughout the history it really became a staple in women’s closets.”

Today, Keds, and sneakers for that matter, appeal to teenage girls and women in their late 20s, according to Ong. “That’s [the age] when they are really trying to find themselves and trying to be comfortable in who they are.”

Finding their perfect pair

Fashion and lifestyle blogger Laureen Uy, for instance, admitted that she had always worn high heels when she was younger, something that she have outgrown. “As I grow older I just feel like I went all out for sneakers,” she related.

Laureen shared that her current favorite is the quintessential white sneakers. “If you’re traveling, white sneakers, for me, is the best pair to bring because you can wear them with jeans, skirt or shirt.” 

STYLISH DREAM CHASERS. Chic and comfortable footwear options—such as those Keds offers—allow women to do what they want to do and go where they want to go without being restricted by impractical shoes.     
Just like Laureen, top model and singer Jessica Yang said she used to set aside sneakers in favor of other footwear. But their versatility made them appealing to her. “You can always match [the shoes] with different outfits as long as you feel comfortable. When you feel good, it matches.”

Meanwhile, casual means sneakers for style and travel blogger Bea Marin. “I love wearing sneakers ‘cause I’m very casual most of the time... they’re comfortable and very versatile.”

Laureen, Jessica and Bea are three of the five muses Keds Philippines tapped for its Fall 2016 collection. They are joined by Akiko Abad and Janeena Chan

Latest collection

Keds’s Fall 2016 collection showcases the same style—women have loved through the years—but with different material executions.

“The Fall collection is all about evolving our style in a way that is true to our iconic brand,” Keds president Chris Lindner said in a statement. 

The range takes inspiration from three key ideas: classic Americana, utilitarian chic, and theme of celebration. 

A fun play on preppy style captures the ‘70s mood in sneakers made of various prints and materials such as slub tweed, windowpane plaid, jersey, chambray, wool and retro floral prints. 

The military trend serves as another inspiration for the season. Keds is able to inject utilitarian details by pairing shimmer and hints of strawberry pink with a palette of olive and gray. Ripstop, wool, burnished leather and metallic canvas materials are cornerstones of the trend.

Festive patterns and high-shine styles mark the theme of celebration. Shoes under this inspiration are accentuated with glitter wool, metallic knit, flocked sequin and exotic shimmer leather, among others. 

Topics: Keds , Women
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