The Sneaker Theory (Casual Home Design Trends)
The Sneaker Theory
(The Casual Home Design Trend)
One of the many reasons we love being part of the Compass family is exposure to thousands of like-minded agents and our colorful leadership, including Leonard Steinberg, the company’s Chief Evangelist. Recently Leonard brought to our attention, something so obvious, so clear, that it was completely obscured from our view—there is a major shift in fashion from starched and crisp to the comfortable—the cool, calm and collected. Why does this matter? Well, the ideology and aesthetic of comfortable is literally permeating the fabric our our society. People want comfort on all levels of their lives, and if shoes tell the story, we are all walking down the path to worn, lightly weathered, but most notable, comfortable. The big brands that come to mind are Golden Goose and Gucci, and their respective lines of comfortable, pre-scuffed sneakers and related streetwear.
Following is Leonard’s blog post that he recently shared
“My recent trip to Italy strolling past the many high-end boutiques revealed a trend that in many ways mirrors what is happening globally in all luxury markets, including real estate. Windows that once upon a time displayed dozens of finely crafted leather shoes have now been replaced with a myriad of designer versions of the Nike sneaker.
Everyone from Chanel to Gucci to Prada featured sneakers in their windows....most priced upwards of $500 a pair. So how does this relate to real estate? What it says to me is that those who have the ability to afford the best and most expensive are seeking two things: comfort and 'casual'. Everything about a sneaker speaks about being far more comfortable than regular shoes for most (I have been wearing sneakers with my suits for over a decade!) and in big cities where walking longer distances is almost a certainty, comfort counts. The same applies to real estate: yes, exquisitely crafted, highly detailed homes are wonderful to look at, but they have to be comfortable too for the next consumer. Comfort usually comes along with a more casual approach. Homes these days feature more casual living areas and often eliminate the separated, formal dining rooms and kitchens that used to be an essential ingredient of a super-luxurious home.
The third aspect to 'NIke-zation' is PROFIT: Making a pair of sneakers mostly costs significanrly less than a more traditional pair of finely crafted shoes. Not unlike real estate, this profit pays for higher advertising and marketing costs, labor costs, rents, mark-downs, and investor demands for higher profits. Most sneakers also cost less than traditional shoes and opens sales up to a wider audience.
The fourth aspect of Nike-zation is.....sneakers made with white soles that get dirty quicker forces consumers to buy more. (How many high-fashion interiors using impractical materials do we see these days that date themselves more quickly?)
The fifth aspect of Nike-zation is the 'cool-factor'. When I wear sneakers with my suits I look and feel younger. They instantly 'de-grandpa' my appearance. It seems everyone is trying to be more youthful in appearance and not only does this apply to shoes: an of-the-moment design of a home speaks not only to how you live, but how others perceive you. How you see someone living in a very traditional, formal house is quite different to the way you may see the same person living in an ultra-cool modern house with large walls of glass, tall ceilings and the latest finishes and fixtures...”
More from Leonard here.