Like so many other young girls in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I wore Keds. The popular sneaker was part of the style of my generation as we grew up.
I ran the gamut – slip-ons, laces, various colors. It didn’t matter, I just loved me some Keds! So it was great to hear recently at eTail East in Boston that Keds has been putting women first in all of its marketing campaigns.
This “women first” mantra isn’t new. In fact it has been going strong since the company’s inception in 1916.
In the last year or so, it seems to me that Keds has made a comeback, and I was more than excited to buy a new pair. It was a bit of nostalgia for me, making me feel like it was the summer of 1989 again and I was jumping rope with my friends on the block.
Keds is also playing up its “Made in U.S.A.” status, which definitely makes it a differentiator in the industry, since so many other brands are manufactured offshore.
Keds’ Chief Marketing Officer Emily Culp told attendees at eTail East that the brand empowers women to do what they want, and is run entirely by women.
In July, Keds launched its brand in Barneys, including co-marketing with the retailer. A post on Barneys’ blog, “The Window,” called Wise Words, Great Style: 9 Women Share Their Brilliance brings together several inspiring women wearing Keds who share their stories about what it means to be a woman today.
Keds is taking the “women first” view seriously by focusing on Women’s Equality Day on August 26, with singer and songwriter and Keds Collective member Ciara who discussed women’s right to vote at tanning salon Chocolate Sun in Santa Monica, California. The group comprised of Keds staff and members of I AM THAT GIRL, a non-profit organization that helps girls address their emotional, physical and mental well beings.
Keds also celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 by announcing the Keds Collective, a curated group of celebrated industry leaders who embody the brand’s overarching commitment to powerful women, creativity and self-expression.
On Facebook, Keds fills its feed with inspirational quotes and imagery geared toward women, while also prominently trumpeting its “Made in the U.S.A.” status.
Daniela Forte is Multichannel Merchant’s Associate Editor.