DTC Dispatch #017

Adidas is dropping NEW Yeezy shoes?!

🌸 Happy March!

This week in DTC Dispatch:

👟 Adidas is dropping a new batch of controversial Yeezy shoes on digital channels

📱 What a no-phone fashion show means in the social media era

💅 Olive & June marries BookTok and NailTok with new Colleen Hoover collaboration

💬 What 8 DTC brands are talking about in 2024


Adidas is dropping a new batch of controversial Yeezy shoes on digital channels

Adidas AG is kicking off another round of sales of Yeezy products, as the German sportswear company looks to boost earnings by working through the backlog of footwear from its cancelled partnership with entertainer Ye.

In several phases over the coming weeks, Adidas will make a range of products initially released in 2022 available around the world, according to a statement Monday. The offerings will include some of the most popular Yeezy designs, including the 350 V2 sneaker in steel gray.

Unlike its successful sale of Yeezy models in late summer of last year, Adidas this time will only offer the products through its digital platforms, cutting out some retail partners.

Our take: Adidas ended its collaboration with Kanye West in 2022 after a series of antisemitic and unhinged remarks. Consumers were already upset with the company at this time, when they felt it was taking Adidas too long to pull the plug on the accord.

The Yeezy products and silhouette’s were extremely lucrative for Adidas at the time, and the demand is still high. Will consumers jump at the chance to get their hands on these products? Or will consumers boycott Adidas for selling Yeezy products, despite his remarks in 2022?

What a no-phone fashion show means in the social media era

Prior to The Row’s Autumn/Winter 2024 presentation on Wednesday in Paris, guests were emailed a request: “We kindly ask that you refrain from capturing or sharing any content during your experience.” In place of phones, guests were given Japanese notepads and a pen to take handwritten notes.

The request — immediately shared on social media, naturally — has raised questions around what it means to instantly share images and videos from the runway online, and what shutting off that access means.

Online, some praised the nostalgia and sophistication of the choice. Others, such as The New York Times chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, expressed their disappointment: “I don’t feel that taking some pictures interferes with my ability to fully consider what I am seeing. And I think I am grown up enough to decide that for myself,” she wrote on X. Still, most abided.

Our take: In the age of social media, news can spread like wildfire and become a viral sensation overnight. When a brand goes against the norm, people are going to talk about it. This is exactly what happened with The Row’s fashion show on Wednesday. People were emailed a request to refrain from using your phone during the experience. Immediately people turned to social media to talk about it. Even without phones at their show, The Row gained publicity and traction by doing something out of the box. This organic viral moment was created due to not allowing phones at their show. All publicity is good publicity, right?

Olive & June marries BookTok and NailTok with new Colleen Hoover collaboration

In June 2022, The New York Times reported that #BookTok, a phenomenon on TikTok, had helped authors sell 20 million printed books in 2021. Of course, TikTok is also known for its great influence on the beauty industry, in nearly every category. On TikTok, the two worlds have long intersected, mainly through readers matching their manis to their latest reads. According to Spate, the hashtag #booktok, when paired with a hashtag related to nail art, has 42.2 million total views. Meanwhile, the hashtag #NailsOfTikTok has 7 billion total views, with 156 million in the last 30 days; #NailTok has 8 billion views, with 139 million in the last 30 days; and #BookTok has 232 billion total views, with 3 billion views in the last 30 days.

On Wednesday, Olive & June launched a collaboration with author Colleen Hoover, whose novels outsold the Bible in 2022. They include “It Starts With Us,” “It Ends With Us” and “Verity,” to name just a few. She has, at times, held six of the top 10 spots on the fiction bestseller list. The product collaboration encompasses eight nail polishes, 17 new press-on styles and three versions of the brand’s newest offering, its tab press-ons. Outside of the brand’s e-commerce site, the collection will be exclusive to Target. Hoover is Target’s bestselling author — her novel “It Ends With Us” has sold over 1 million copies at the retailer in two years.

Our take: The marriage between BookTok and NailTok is unusual, but genius. Both of these trends on TikTok cultivate millions of views by consumers. The collaboration between nail company Olive & June and Colleen Hoover, who is one of the biggest selling authors to Gen Z and Millennials, is a very smart business play. The products will be sold online and at Target, another popular retailer for the Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

Social media and TikTok have allowed collaborations like this to form, an unlikely duo without those platforms. I expect us to continue seeing more collaborations like this as TikTok continues to grow its consumer base and presence.

What 8 DTC brands are talking about in 2024

Over the past decade, DTC brands have evolved, causing executives to rethink their strategies.

While many digitally native darlings originally vowed to avoid wholesale in order to pass savings on to consumers, many of those brands are now inking deals with retailers to expand their distribution network. On the other hand, more established brands that previously leaned heavily on the wholesale channel are now exploring the benefits of selling directly to consumers.

The changing industry has also led to a change of hands at several brands in recent years, with founders stepping down in order to usher in more seasoned retail leadership.

Executives with some of the biggest brands last month appeared at both the ICR conference and the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, offering insights into what DTC brands are thinking about in 2024.

Read more for eight takeaways from DTC leaders heard during two of the industry’s biggest events.

Our take: This article dives into executives from successful DTC brands such as On, APL, Casper, Crocs, Purple, Glossier, Lovesac, and Brooklinen. Each executive discusses their brands individual DTC approach and how the industry is evolving overall.


Gymshark’s 2023 financial report released

“After digging through Gymshark’s financials, their initiatives can be very clearly reduced down to one sentence: Diversify distribution while right-sizing the balance sheet.” says Drew Fallon, former CFO & COO of Mad Rabbit Tattoo.

Gymshark posted revenue growth of 15% YoY, down from 21% YoY in 2022, largely driven by increases in DTC revenue Non-DTC revenue represents just 3.6% of total revenue, but is growing rapidly on a small base. Fallon expects these revenues to be material in 12mo.

Fallon’s prediction for the company: “It is clear that Gymshark had a ‘belt tightening’ year in 2023. I am bullish on the setup for the company into a recovering market. I believe this was likely the last report before we see significant cash flow generation from the business as well as overall growth being driven by the omnichannel strategy. I estimate that in approx. 2 years or less gymshark is ‘IPO ready.’”

Our take: Drew Fallon dives into Gymshark’s 2023 financial report and offers some detailed insight into their financials. The financial report requires some deep-diving, as on the surface, the numbers aren’t great. Fallon explains why this may be and what this means for the future of Gymshark.


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