Salomon climbed the highest ‘mountain’ in the fashion system.
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The lack of alternatives triggered a desire for diversification on the part of the consumer, who was naturally led to search for an alternative footwear brand, breaking away from the 'usual' market dynamics.

A brief history of trail shoes that have become a fashion statement.

There was a time – not too long ago – when those who wore trail running shoes out and about (in the city or in their free time) were considered style outsiders.

That is to say, one who did not follow trends and who, without saying so openly, manifested indifference and disinterest in the dictates of the industry in favour of a comfortable choice.

Then, something truly unpredictable happened: The Salomon – the trail running sneakers par excellence – made themselves the stars of the 2018 Paris Fashion Week shows.

But how did a 75-year-old ski brand become one of the hottest of the moment?

The growing success of Salomon found fertile ground at a time when the market was dominated by the same global brands, for a long time.

The lack of competition and alternatives triggered a desire for diversification on the part of the consumer, who was naturally led to search for an alternative footwear brand, breaking away from the ‘usual’ market dynamics.

When the brand was founded by Georges Salomon in Annecy in 1947, it specialised in ski articles.  In the following decades, the brand moved into other outdoor sports categories, eventually focusing on clothing and footwear designed for trail running, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

It is only in the last few years that Salomon has taken centre stage in the fashion industry, finding favour with an audience accustomed to modesty rather than dirt tracks.

Also helping the French brand in its incredible rise has been the Gorpcore trend (we talked here, “Gorpcore: who dress like an Hiker in the City”) and the collaboration with JP Lalonde, who joined the brand in 2016 to lead the Sportstyle division, designing shoes that are faithful and authentic to performance, but recontextualised.

That same year, the Parisian boutique ‘The Broken Arm’ displayed them in the store window on Rue Perrée.

Shortly thereafter, those attending Fashion Week or simply passing through Paris went to the store to purchase the XT-4, XT-6 and Snowcross models. The relationship between the brand and the boutique solidified to such an extent that it resulted in a collaboration that continues to this day.

 

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Un post condiviso da THE BROKEN ARM (@thebrokenarm)

Customers who bought Salomon shoes from ‘The Broken Arm’ attended the most important events of the Paris Fashion Week, matching them with sophisticated haute couture dresses. From there to the most influential online publications and Steetstyle magazines, the step was short.

The Salomon trend has grown more and more, until it has become a reference brand for the fashion industry: while crossover brands like The North Face and Nike ACG compete for the same target audience and others draw on Skate, Hip-Hop, and Basketball culture, Salomon is above the parties, focusing on the product itself. This is its strength.

A metro Paris train during the Fashion Week in 2021

The brand has its own identity, which stems from the need for hyper-functionality, and it responds, more or less unconsciously, to market demand in an authentic way, even when it collaborates with fashion houses such as Comme des Garçons and Maison Margiela, or lifestyle brands such as Palace and And Wander.

The key to Salomon‘s success lies in this: creating performance-oriented silhouettes, adapted with minor adjustments to the urban lifestyle, rather than compromising the technical elements.

His progressive perspective is driven by his Alpine roots in Annecy, to which he has added an approach to experimentation and cooperation.

 

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