Salomon’s Super Bowl Surprise | BoF

Salomon’s Super Bowl Surprise | BoF

As quickly as Rihanna set foot on stage Sunday evening, enthusiasts took to social media to scrutinise each and every depth of her effectiveness, from her child bump to her mid-track Fenty Magnificence makeup refresh.

1 unlikely spotlight in Rihanna’s act: the Salomon sneakers in her monochrome ensemble. In contrast to the custom made Alaïa puffer coat or Loewe jumpsuit, the sneakers, a collaboration with MM6 Maison Margiela, can be bought today for $360.

It was a stunning earn for the French outdoor and snow sporting activities brand, which was not instructed in advance that Rihanna would be donning its sneakers through her functionality (the placement was produced by way of Maison Margiela). Right away, Google queries for the bright orange “Cross Low” sneakers spiked 4,000 percent, according to Google Trends info.

“We’d been given a heads up that Rihanna’s stylist experienced asked for a pair, but there is under no circumstances a guarantee that it will be worn [on stage],” reported Alex Van Oostrum, a promoting executive at Salomon.

Internet marketing opportunities really don’t get substantially even bigger than the Tremendous Bowl halftime demonstrate, frequently the most viewed second of the most watched sport of America’s most common sport. Previous year’s halftime demonstrate captivated 103 million tv viewers, according to the NFL. For the 2023 Tremendous Bowl, the charge of a 30 second marketing slot in the course of the video game was above $7 million.

Salomon, till not long ago nearly unknown outside the house of outdoor hobbyists, had efficiently stumbled into a million-dollar marketing chance without having investing a solitary dime. But Rihanna’s endorsement cemented an currently promising trajectory for the 76-calendar year-outdated model, which originated as a compact family enterprise specialising in ski edges in the French Alps.

Salomon commenced to arise as a vogue favorite in the 2010s, when brands co-opted the athletic style of specialized niche out of doors sports activities like climbing and skiing.

To capitalise on the pattern — identified as gorpcore — the organization employed previous Arc’teryx designer Jean-Phillipe Lalonde in 2016 to head its new Sportstyle division, which would create way of living products and solutions in addition to Salomon’s overall performance wear.

Gradually but undoubtedly, it commenced to construct a pursuing. Rihanna is just one of a lengthy listing of celebrity lovers — together with Ralph Lauren, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Pusha T. It was not her very first general public outing in the footwear, possibly: she posted on Instagram sporting the brand’s now ubiquitous XT-6 path operating product in 2019.

Right now, the bulk of Salomon’s product sales arrive from climbing and trail functioning shoes, though its major driver of progress comes from style lovers. Salomon was the speediest developing footwear label on StockX previous 12 months, with revenue up more than 2,200 p.c between 2021 and 2022.

From Mountains to Moodboards

By the 1990s, Salomon experienced at some point expanded from ski edges into snowsport and path equipment at significant. In 1997, it was acquired by Adidas and once again offered to Finnish keeping corporation Amer Sports in 2005.

At the time, Amer Sports activities was in the process of developing a roster of top outdoor clothing and tools brands, and that similar 12 months obtained Canadian outerwear label Arc’teryx. In 2019, Amer Sporting activities was acquired by Chinese sportswear giant Anta in a offer that valued the business at €4.6 billion ($4.9 billion).

Salomon’s authentic fashion breakthrough came in 2016 when the brand name produced its very first sneaker collaboration with The Damaged Arm, a vogue-ahead Parisian boutique. That very same calendar year, German designer Boris Bidjan Saberi developed a confined version consider on the brand’s Speedcross 4 trail operating shoes for his brand’s runway show.

In the earlier two years, Salomon has develop into 1 of fashion’s most in-need collaborators, co-designing sneakers with the likes of Comme des Garcons, Kith and Palace Skateboards, although buying up stockists this sort of as Dover Road Current market, Matchesfashion and Close. As the manner cycle arrived to favour preppy seems popularised by models like Aimé Leon Dore, Salomon sneakers became a street model favourite, typically paired with baggy cargo pants and cardigans.

Considering that then, the brand name has labored with Paris-primarily based agency Radical PR to entrench alone in the vogue community by gifting vital tastemakers and fashion influencers, hosting situations throughout Paris Manner 7 days and partnering with niche neighborhood teams these kinds of as the newly opened Dijonns cultural centre in London.

Nowadays, life-style is the speediest-expanding merchandise classification for the brand name in conditions of income, Van Oostrom stated.

The manner connections will also enable the brand remain suitable even as curiosity in sneakers fades and Gorpcore — now a mainstream aesthetic — loses its excitement.

“Not several outdoors brand names will outlive the gorpcore hype, but Salomon seems to transcend that certain market,” explained menswear author and brand name strategist Clayton Chambers. “With their rate issue and affiliation with manufacturers like Margiela, it looks there is a lane for them to perform precisely inside of significant fashion extended-phrase.”