"Cross Branding"

A Discussion on Wearing Competing Brands

When it comes to the subject of cross branding, a lot of old school and new school sneaker-heads will agree; wearing two competing brands is a big no no. If we take a step back however and look at things from an overall perspective, what's the big deal? Is it really such a big fashion faux pas to rock the three stripes on your feet with a  pair of Nike Tech joggers? Do we really care if a pair of Air Force 1s is worn with some Adidas Track pants? WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

The fashion industry has evolved over the years with new innovations in fabrics and designs. New brands have become more popular and yes, even a rapper can take over the fashion world and make millions of people want to dress like a bum. We are all slaves to fashion whether we want to fit in or stand out. Somebody, somewhere, made something that you're wearing. Does that mean you have to be a slave to the rules?

I say no. We are all adults, we can wear what we want and nobody can tell us otherwise. Unless you are a brand ambassador and are sponsored by a certain company, you should feel free to wear what you want, where you want...when appropriate. That doesn't mean wear that fresh Puma Track outfit you picked up from the mall over the weekend to that job interview you have on Monday. But it does mean that you should feel free to mix and match brands whenever you'd like and within reason.

Unlike when we were all kids and got made fun of if we didn't have the latest Js or because our socks didn't match, now it is not only okay to dress differently but in some cases it's almost encouraged to step outside the box. If you can rock it, rock it: shoes, clothes, belt, hat, jacket, etc. They don't all have to come from the same brand, with the same pattern, and in the same colors. I've seen people come to a party dressed head to toe in Gucci and trust me, nobody was impressed. We should all feel comfortable in our own skin and part of that is being comfortable with your own style. If that means you cross brands, so be it. As the saying goes, "If it goes, it goes", meaning if your outfit goes together it doesn't matter who makes it.

What are your thoughts on Cross Branding? Leave a comment below. For some final words of wisdom keep in mind a quote from one of the most influential designers of the century: "Fashions fade, style is eternal." —Yves Saint Laurent

Sir Harry Jr. Signing Off.

"Brand Loyalty"

A Peak Into The Boston Shoe Game

 

When we think of some of the most popular shoe brands out there today several come to mind: Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Puma, Saucony, Asics and probably a few more depending on your region and preference. But what does brand loyalty actually mean? Does it mean you only wear one brand at a time and stay true to that brand no matter what’s popular, what’s hype, or what’s fashionable? Here in Boston we are fortunate enough to be in an area that is home to several great brands not only “popular” in the city, but headquartered here as well. If you know anything about the shoe game you know where the spots are to cop the latest heat, but far fewer people know that companies like New Balance, Adidas, and even Converse, have major headquarters in Boston and the surrounding area.

As Bostonians, does brand loyalty mean that we should support these brands and wear them over what may be popular in our circles, what may appeal to our own styles, or even more importantly what we can afford? While these things are all open to opinion, what’s most important to recognize is that we live in a free country. While it may not be popular to wear one brand over another, we as consumers have every right to pick and choose what brands we support, what brands we wear, and in general how we want to present ourselves to others.

To get a better sense of what I mean let's look at what's really popular right now in pop culture: Nike and Adidas. These two brands have taken over the market and continue to grow. While Adidas has made some great strides over the last couple of years with the introduction of Boost material, making a major move by luring Kanye West (otherwise known as Yeezy, one of the biggest Icons in music away from Nike to create a sub-brand under Adidas), Nike is still the top dog. With the recent news that Amazon will soon be owned by Nike, the company's market share of the shoe and athletic wear industry will no doubt grow even more. What factors do moves like this play on Brand Loyalty? How does it influence the masses?

Aside from the numerous department stores we're all familiar with, Boston and its surrounding area is home to at least three exclusive shops that can only be found here or in a select few places. Bodega, Concepts, and Niketown Boston are familiar names to those of us versed in the sneaker culture of Boston, and can all be found in the heart of the city. Mind you, Concepts is located in Cambridge which is not a part of Boston, but word on the street is expansion is in the works. Does brand loyalty extend to these shops? Are the collaborations, exclusive merchandise that can be found in these shops, and numerous raffles, events, & apparel apart of what would be considered "Brand Loyalty"? 

Styles change as time goes on, new trends pop up, fads fade away, and something new and hot catches the eye of the public. In the end, the only thing that matters is that you wear what you like. Don't let other people tell you what's cool. Do your thing. Whether it's fitting in or standing out, no one can be a better you than you. What are your thoughts on Brand Loyalty? Leave a comment below. 

Sir Harry Jr. Signing Off.