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size? HQ: What’s next for 2016?

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It's that time of the year again... So to give you a glimpse into 2016, we sat down with a few members of the team at size? HQ to see what they're looking forward to this year. James Trivunovic - Senior Footwear Buyer Triv_Diptych_resize

I am looking forward to seeing the reaction of consumers towards the growth of adidas' NMD Collections throughout the season and to see how it competes with the strength of Nike's influx of technical running shoes and retro bring-backs.

Both brands have stepped their game up in regards to new and retro models like Sock Dart, Mayfly, Presto for Nike, as well as some phenomenal Boost inspired styles from adidas. Our stores will be full of the strongest and broadest range of Nike and adidas running shoes we have had in a very long time.

We are also excited about bringing new brands and looks back into the business that we feel will become more and more relevant in 2016. This includes smarter and cleaner "Ath-leisure" brands such as Birkenstock, Sperry and Novesta mixed in with the likes of premium Converse All Star 70's, adidas Albrecht and Made in the UK New Balance.

Finally our adidas exclusives for the season are harking back to the real European DNA and aesthetic of the originals brand; we have worked on timeless styles such as Munchen, Jeans and Kegler Super. Going into Autumn, we have even more exclusives and will be bringing back an all time classic around September/October time that we have been working on for along time.

We will also be going back to some really collectable and super limited pieces with special packaging and gifts across the back end of 2016... It's the most exciting year for adidas in as long as I can remember.

Jessica Jones - size? for women Brand Manager

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2016 sees our biggest and most diverse product range for women. Our favourite footwear silhouettes are refreshed with new fabrications and finishes including colourful knits, bold weaves and intricate leather cut outs. Soft pastels sit alongside a bold monochrome pallet and our favourite metallic’s.  

Along with welcoming new brands in to the size? for women mix, we've collaborated with some of our favourites on exclusive styles which we are really excited to launch.

Harrison Chidlow - Apparel Buyer

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Sportswear still dominates the season, with the adidas originals’ range as strong as ever with various iterations of tapered track pants, new longer line and oversized fits on some classic pieces and a really strong EQT pack which launches 30th January. We also have worked on an exclusive ‘Spezial’ inspired capsule collection, which will land at the start of summer. Nike have updated their Tech Fleece franchise with the introduction of ‘Tech Knit’ which is Flyknit-like in construction but with more stretch, ridiculously comfy, crucial. They have also introduced cropped tech pants with a matching cardigan/bomber hybrid in colours not usually associated with sportswear and overall there are more contemporary materials and cutting lines which is great to see as it reflects how people are wearing sportswear, up styling it and pairing it with more formal pieces. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 13.42.10 Outside of the big two I have to give a mention to Reebok who are building off the performance of their footwear and have developed a heritage collection with some strong collaborations around it. We have also developed a small, exclusive collection of garment-dyed pieces with Champion Reverse Weave, in a soft black and off white colour palette, which will be out in February. The North Face are introducing a new, segmented ‘Black Label’ collection which is more lifestyle orientated. The branding is fantastic and I expect it to be well received. In the same category, Patagonia’s range has grown, with a strong variety of jackets and some seasonal fleece pieces all featuring the iconic P-6 branding. Streetwear currently is at a bit of a crossroads, however Stussy have had a great anniversary year in 2015 and this continues into SS16 based around the strength of their cut and sew range. They manage to introduce new graphics and branding applications alongside ones from their archives all on relevant silhouettes with some great washed out pastille colours. Obey have gone back to their roots with a collection based around the theme of ‘post streetwear’ with bold graphics, something we are seeing more of once again. We have also designed a small range of exclusive pieces from Carhartt WIP, which includes coach jackets, hoods and long sleeve tees, these will drop in the next few weeks. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 13.41.55 We have refined our brand selection for this season but in terms of new brands we have Schott, Lee Jeans, Libertine-Libertine and Stutterheim, to sit alongside newcomers Daily Paper who had a good reception in FW16. In terms of colours/trends I have seen plenty of white, particularly on outerwear pieces, which will be everywhere this season, as well as military influences across some ranges. Brands are also experimenting with more interesting materials, something which seems to have filtered down from the runway which is great to see. Polar fleece, wool and denim in particular feature heavily. The majority of brands have done a variation of a bomber jacket, which is a really relevant style and isn’t going anywhere. Layering is always key in spring with our unpredictable climate and we have a broader selection of outerwear to reflect this. Colour-wise for the season I’d say watch out for softer neutral colours and tones for spring with the introduction of some pastille colours for summer. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 13.42.33 Chris Binns - Assistant Footwear Buyer Binns_Diptych_resize

For me personally, the key word for this season is “pure”, tapping in to the true beginnings of the trainer culture. In certain ways, it's forgetting the last few years and having a real year zero.

As always adidas are coming through very strong with exclusive colourway’s in both the Munchen and Albrecht; both of which we can't wait for.

Sticking with the classics, Reebok also have some strong shoes on the way, kicked off with 2 exclusive colourway’s on the Aztec.

Next comes the return of one of the standout Reebok tennis shoes: the Club C.  Now I may be slightly biased here, as I have a real penchant for tennis shoes, but this is a thing of beauty and with some exclusive colorway’s later in the Summer, this could be a real highpoint for the brand.

I’m also hoping we get to see the awakening of a few sleeping giants, firstly in the guise of Converse with the outrageously good Chuck 70’s series. It has taken a few years for this to filter down to the masses but finally people have started to take this shoe into their hearts. Secondly Vans, who are tapping into their rich history in what is their 50th year of existence.

Last but not least Nike, who have also tapped into their back catalogue by bringing back the Sock Dart, which I love and one of my personal favourites the Mayfly, the shoe only built to last for 100km. The OG lands early this year, who knows we might even see the now legendary Woven return at some point... 

As well as those, we have the return of the shoe which is bound to evoke childhood memories for those of a certain age like myself, as the Air Icarus is back and looking as fresh as it did when it debuted in 1991.

Throw in a few new exciting brands to the size? roster including Birkenstock, Slovakia’s very own Novesta, as well as Sebago and those boat shoe aficionados Sperry. 

2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year.

Luke Matthews - Social Media Manager Luke_Diptych_resize

For 2016 I think two separate strands will run parallel. 

The first strand pioneers technology and prioritises both the latest and the greatest at their respective brands. An influx of new silhouettes will take the stage, with adidas Originals being the first to show their hand with the Tubular Doom.

Several iconic iterations will adopt the industries innovations such as Nike incorporating Flyknit onto the Air Force 1 and Presto and adidas applying Boost onto the EQT Running Support. I’m looking forward to see what’s next for the brands and how this evolves throughout the year.

The second strand sees the return of some classics back onto our shelves. All eyes will be on Nike with the Uptempo and Air Icarus but keep an eye out for Reebok with the Club C and Vans with the infamous Prison Issue.

Alongside this, we’re welcoming Novesta and Birkenstock into our roster, which sees a cleaner counterpart to sit with the likes of the Converse 70’s, New Balance's ‘Made in the UK’ range and Sperry's CVO.

Mark Fletcher - Head of Design

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As the monochrome and tech fashion continues from 2015, I’m looking forward to the inevitable counteraction to this ‘futurist/minimal’ trend this year. Just like Punk and Hip-hop were reactions to what was mainstream that upset the norm, there is potential for resetting what is considered fashionable by bucking the current trends.

As a (portly) youth—baggy jeans and big coats were staples in my wardrobe, so I’m also personally enjoying the resurgence of non-skinny legwear and more function-first fashion and I feel right at home with the simple sportswear pieces that continue to gain momentum. The continually evolving technologies in footwear are exciting, but I’m really excited about the resurgence of old-school aesthetics. In particular—bold but carefully considered colour palettes, classic material selections and seeing the return of some of the more-forgotten retros. Nike's Air Icarus is at the top of my list for early 2016. I’m also eager to see the reception of some of the new brands we are bringing into our roster in both footwear and apparel. Dean Tymon - Creative Lead Dean_Diptych_resize For me 2016 is going to be a year of diversity and seeking out new styles. I’m really looking forward to creating content for the size? customer, to offer new styles, brands & silhouettes to make it desirable, relatable as well as aspirational. With all the technology developing within fashion and sportswear it will be very interesting to see whats going to drop throughout the year.  I'm hoping to see the classic silhouettes stay strong, if not grow even more, products like Converse Chuck 70’s, Vans Old Skool, Nike Tennis Classic, adidas Stan Smith, Reebok Classics. Similar viewpoint with Apparel, technology based pieces from adidas and Nike are very interesting and breaking down boundaries, but personally I'm really excited for the ‘Cut & Sew’ style pieces, clean cut jackets, fleece crew sweats and cleaner, more minimal styles. Colour palettes vary throughout the course of the year, but personally I like to have palettes for my personal moods.  Around the office everyone has very distinct styles. I'm currently really enjoying the mix of Light Pastels, Nude, and Pink tones to go along with the staple Black, Navy & Khaki pieces. Two shoes I won’t be sleeping on this year… Nike Mayfly Woven & Reebok Club C 85 Suede. James Measom - Creative Content Assistant James_Diptych_resize There are a couple of different directions I'm looking forward to seeing develop this year within footwear. I'm hoping for the reintroduction of some of the more obscure styles from Nike's back catalogue, some of which are celebrating 20th and 25th year anniversaries.  Models like the Air More Uptempo, Air Terra ACG, Air Max Tailwind 96, Air Moc, and my all time favourite, the Air Footscape. The Presto gained a lot of momentum last year with the first few OG releases, and with the way the Huarache has been adopted by the masses over the last couple of years (something I did NOT expect to happen!) I'm intrigued to see what else a new generation of consumer will take an interest in.  Opinions seem to sit at complete polar opposites when it comes to the more eccentric silhouettes.  Sock Dart did extremely well last year, I think that initial set of Fragment releases created a lot of interest and set a strong foundation for this years new colourways, whether or not it would have had the same effect it was more readily available I don't know. At the other end of the scale, with 2016 being an Olympic year I'll be interested to see what new technologies are billed for announcement in time for the games.  In 2012 we were blessed with both Flyknit and Primeknit, both of which have taken on different forms and generated a lot of interest within progressive footwear design.  I'm sure Adidas will be looking to extend their development of the Futurecraft initiative and experiment with what's physically possible. Simon Newby - Brand Marketing Assistant Simon_Diptych_resize I’ve already started to work on some exciting brand campaigns for 2016 and from what I’ve seen of the product so far it's shaping up to be another great year within the industry. It’s no surprise that technical uppers such as Flyknit and Primeknit will have a prominent part to play and we’ll see these materials being used in innovative ways on classic models and on new silhouettes. Alongside this tech based product I’m looking forward to the continued reemergence of simple, canvas based footwear. One brand I’m expecting big things from this year is Vans. They celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2016 and are planning to honour their rich heritage with special releases that will showcase their timeless design and innovation. Expect to see more of this campaign from March onwards, we'll be following it the whole way through. It’s not just all Vans though, Converse will have an important part to play at size? in 2016 and there’s some great colourways coming out very shortly on the Chuck 70, Jack Purcell and One Star. Add in newcomers such as Novesta and Sperry with their respective Star Master and CVO models and there’s going to plenty of good things happening in this sector of the market.

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