MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After initially launching in Asia and with an upcoming debut in the United States and Canada, SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX) is extending its popular anime collaboration to Europe as well with the launch of Skechers X One Piece. The colorful collection unites Toei Animation’s popular anime series with Skechers D’Lites, one of the footwear company’s original styles.
“Pairing the iconic long-running anime series One Piece with one of our top heritage styles resonated with our consumers in South Korea and China who have been driving trends for the past few years,” began Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “And now fashion moves at light speed, so as influencers around the world had already been embracing Skechers D’Lites and the chunky sneaker trend, we started to see style purveyors—from Hypebae, Hypebeast, GQ, and High Snobiety—covering Skechers X One Piece collaboration as a must have fashion style. We’ve moved fast to share the collaboration with the United States, Canada, and now Europe—one of the largest international markets for Skechers.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with an amazing global footwear brand in Skechers to launch this exciting fashion initiative across Europe,” said Ryuji Kochi, President of Toei Animation Europe. “Skechers D’Lites embody an energetic trend that’s been taking the world by storm and much like the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece, our fans are always enthusiastically seeking out the next new adventure in life, so this partnership is a perfect fit. We are confident that the combined merchandising efforts of both Toei Animation and Skechers will bring long-lasting success for this collaboration.”
“The red hot chunky sneaker look has been taking over fashion runways in Europe, creating intense buzz,” added Marvin Bernstein, managing partner of SKECHERS S.à.r.l. “So it’s a unique opportunity for us to bring the collaboration of the D’Lites, the originator of the chunky look, and the legendary One Piece series to Europe where we expect it will resonate with stylish consumers across the continent. We’re thrilled that this is all happening with Toei Animation, the pioneers of Japanese animation.”
Originally exclusive to the South Korean and China markets, the collection will be imported to Europe in multiple different colorways—each embracing a unique One Piece character: Luffy, Chopper, Sanji, Zoro, Law, and Doflamingo. The footwear will be available beginning July 2018 at Skechers retail stores and select specialty stores in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain/Portugal, United Kingdom, and Central Eastern Europe [Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia].
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is the best-selling manga in history with more than 430 million copies worldwide. In 1997, it spawned an acclaimed anime series that has produced 830+ episodes plus 15 movies. Following the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his fearless Straw Hat Pirates, fans are taken on a fantastical journey across a world teeming with wonders and imagination. A multi-generational property, it continues to captivate viewers both young and old. The story and its characters have also expanded across other media into film, television, and video/mobile games, as well as a theme park in Japan.
Skechers pioneered the chunky sneaker look two decades ago with the Skechers Energy for men and women as well as the Skechers Stamina for men. The style evolved and the Company introduced Skechers D’Lites—a lighter version of its original style—in 2007. Though the collection has always had a dedicated consumer base, sales accelerated across Asia over the last two years after regional marketing included K-Pop groups. In 2017, the Company relaunched an even lighter update of Skechers D’Lites in celebration of its ten-year anniversary.
About SKECHERS USA, Inc.
SKECHERS USA, Inc., based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs, develops, and markets a diverse range of lifestyle footwear for men, women, and children, as well as performance footwear for men and women. SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States and over 170 countries and territories worldwide via department and specialty stores, 2,651 SKECHERS Company-owned and third-party-owned retail stores, and the Company’s e-commerce websites. The Company manages its international business through a network of global distributors, joint venture partners in Asia and the Middle East, and wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, Japan, throughout Europe, and Latin America. For more information, please visit skechers.com and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/SKECHERS) and Twitter (twitter.com/SKECHERSUSA).
About Toei Animation Europe
Founded in 1956 in Tokyo, Toei Animation ranks amongst the world’s most prolific animation production studios. The company’s operations include animation development and production, and worldwide marketing and program licensing with sales offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Paris. Toei Animation Europe is managing the distribution and exploitation of Toei Animation’s animated series in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Among its most famous titles: Dragon Ball, One Piece, Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon, Digimon, Mazinger Z, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Captain Future. www.toei-animation.com
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, Skechers’ future domestic and international growth, financial results and operations including expected net sales and earnings, its development of new products, future demand for its products, its planned domestic and international expansion, opening of new stores and additional expenditures, and advertising and marketing initiatives. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking language such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will result,” “could,” “may,” “might,” or any variations of such words with similar meanings. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include international economic, political and market conditions including the challenging consumer retail markets in the United States; sustaining, managing and forecasting costs and proper inventory levels; losing any significant customers; decreased demand by industry retailers and cancellation of order commitments due to the lack of popularity of particular designs and/or categories of products; maintaining brand image and intense competition among sellers of footwear for consumers, especially in the highly competitive performance footwear market; anticipating, identifying, interpreting or forecasting changes in fashion trends, consumer demand for the products and the various market factors described above; sales levels during the spring, back-to-school and holiday selling seasons; and other factors referenced or incorporated by reference in Skechers’ annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. The risks included here are not exhaustive. Skechers operates in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time and the companies cannot predict all such risk factors, nor can the companies assess the impact of all such risk factors on their respective businesses or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Moreover, reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance.