What’s happening below the ankles has become quite a buzzed-about topic. From Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping with Joe LaPuma” to dedicated news sites like High Snobiety, sneaker culture has captivated consumers globally. It’s a $55 billion industry internationally. And though perception has the category dominated by male viewers, Bustle Digital Group and sneaker-culture-focused media startup SNKR INC know that women are just as fanatical. They are simply under-represented in the category. So, together the two have dreamed up the first female-driven sneaker show called “Blaze” as a vehicle for spotlighting the female sneakerheads shaping sneaker culture, streetwear, music and fashion. The episodic series is set to air later in 2018 on Bustle Digital Group’s brand EliteDaily.com, which reaches 20 million monthly readers, with its pilot episode featuring influencer/dancer Jadebug.
“There are so many personalities behind this industry, and through ‘Blaze’ we will showcase female pioneers and catalysts through our artistic lens and highly-engaged audience,” said Dermot McCormack, SNKRINC Co-Founder.
And the move seems to be on par with observations made by global footwear leaders like Nike, which just launched a new women’s sneaker concept called Unlaced. “We’ve been watching women over the last few years, talking to our consumers, and we’ve really seen [them] fueling the sport and fitness lifestyle overall,” Nike Women’s vice president and general manager Amy Montagne said in an interview. “From going for a run in the morning to going to a meeting and taking a yoga class in the afternoon, we’ve seen how sneakers really play into her lifestyle.”
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It’s a point that Bustle Digital Group’s SVP of Business Development, Kate Robinson, couldn’t agree with more. “The timeliness of this partnership couldn’t be more perfect. Sneaker culture continues to emerge as an interest amongst our female audience, and SNKRINC approached us with this engaging and relatable concept that focuses on trailblazing women and their individual journeys in a highly competitive industry,” she told VideoInk.
It’s a pivotal moment for women. And women-centered programming like “Blaze” elevates the very real point that gender-silo’ed genres are a way of the past.
“This collaboration allows two experts in their respective fields – young millennial women and sneakers – to jointly create something unique and groundbreaking for our audience and advertisers,” added Robinson.
And to entice advertisers, SNKR INC Founder, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Ivan Dudynsky tells VideoInk that the show will also expand beyond digital distribution and social media to create ancillary formats and events that feed back to the show. Since launching in October of 2017, SNKR INC has leaned in to social platforms like Facebook. It’s also produced over 300 episodes of short form content including a video podcast format with Sneaker Steve.
But for the business and future programming, McCormack says “[SNKR INC] is obsessed with covering sneaker culture in new and unique ways, and telling stories that nobody else is telling.”