Sneaker label Pony launches apparel collection and designer collaborations
Pony is a sneaker label with a long history, having been founded in New York in 1972 - its name is the acronym of Product of New York. This year, Pony is introducing a spate of novelties at the Pitti Uomo 94 menswear show, as Andrea Conidi, the CEO of Baco Distribution (Pony’s Italy-based European distributor), told FashionNetwork.com.
“Pony has a strong brand identity and long-established connections with the world of sport: in the 1980s, star footballers Pelé and Paolo Rossi, and a legend like Muhammad Ali used to wear Pony trainers. They are quality shoes, with leather uppers and lining, and they are priced between €100 and €170. Pony targets a broad consumer segment, aged 20 to 50, both men and women, and in future we may even consider children,” said Conidi, adding that “for the next spring/summer, one of the novelties we are introducing at Pitti Uomo is Pony’s first apparel line, entirely produced in Italy by Dream Project using premium textiles.”
The collection consists of about 70 items. It focuses chiefly on men’s models, but it also includes a few highly feminine women’s items in bright colours and prints; many models can actually be regarded as unisex. Pony’s apparel line has a sporty vibe consistent with the brand's DNA, with an added fashion twist, and features track suits, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, a backpack, a hat and socks. It is affordably priced for a made-in Italy line, from €30 for the t-shirts to €80 for the sweatshirts.
As for sneakers, for the Spring/Summer 2019 Pony has launched a capsule collection designed by Yong Bae Seok, who has collaborated with names like Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Bally and Tod’s, and launched his own unisex sneaker brand Seok this year. The Pony x Yong Bae Seok collection will reissue some of Pony’s signature models, with special editions of the City Wings Low and City Wings High trainers featuring distinctive blue, black, red and white bands and priced just under €200.
“At Pitti Uomo, we’re presenting another prestigious collaboration for the next Spring/Summer, with emerging Canadian label 3.Paradis. With 3.Paradis, we created an exclusive collection of very sophisticated sneakers, using state-of-the-art technology. We will distribute it only via a small number of ultra-select stores in the European countries where we operate; in Italy for example, the collection will be available at Luisaviaroma,” said Conidi. The retail price of the Pony x 3.Paradis models will be about €270.
Pony has also launched a collaboration with Lab 17, an Italian design studio specialised in sneaker customisation. In future, this could become an additional in-store service for consumers keen on having their own personalised models.
Baco Distribution operates showrooms in Milan and Turin, and distributes Pony in Italy, Scandinavia, Benelux, Russia and France. “Pony’s retail revenue in Europe is currently in the region of €5 million, half of which is generated in Italy. Besides Italy, the fastest-growing markets are the Scandinavian countries, Belgium and Holland,” said Conidi. “We are present in 200 multibrand stores in Italy and as many abroad, and we sell approximately 40,000 pairs of shoes per year. We are growing at an annual rate of 15%-20%, but we have higher expectations for the next Spring/Summer. We’re also evaluating the possibility of opening a monobrand store, definitely in Milan,” he concluded.
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