Foot Locker appoints Melody Ehsani as creative director of women's business
American sports and footwear retailer Foot Locker has named LA-based designer Melody Ehsani as the first creative director of its women’s business.
In her new role, Ehsani will be expected to leverage her streetwear experience to boost the profile of the Foot Locker brand among female consumers around the world, through content and product development.
As part of her responsibilities, she will design quarterly apparel capsule collections and curate a selection of Nike and Jordan products. The first capsule collection designed by Ehsani will launch in summer 2021 and will be available to purchase both online and in Foot Locker stores in the United States and Canada, as well as in select locations in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
Ehsani founded her namesake streetwear brand, which specializes in jewelry, footwear and apparel, in 2008. Since then, the designer, who regularly combines streetwear and activism, has worked with a wide range of creative partners, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, Lauryn Hill, and Wu-Tang Clan.
She has also collaborated with Foot Locker in the past. In December of last year, Ehsani designed an exclusive capsule collection for Foot Locker’s “12 Days of Greatness” holiday campaign.
And her designs have historically drawn a lot of hype. The Air Jordan 1 Mid Fearless sneaker designed by Ehsani for Nike's Jordan brand sold out in under two minutes when it launched in November 2019. Since then, the sneaker, which was originally priced at $130, has seen its resale price rise to hover around the $1,200 mark.
“Melody Ehsani brings authenticity and years of creative leadership to the industry,” said Patricia Respress, Foot Locker’s VP and DMM for women's footwear and apparel, in a release. “Her diverse background of streetwear knowledge will help elevate our brand and expand our product offering, while driving real cultural impact within our women's community.”
In anticipation of the release of Ehsani’s first capsule for Foot Locker, the company is seeking consumer feedback in New York and LA, through a digital crowd-sourcing program, in order to determine where it will set up Melody Ehsani x Foot Locker pop-ups. The temporary stores will open a week before the capsule is made available.
“Growing up, Foot Locker stores were a staple of my cultural landscape. I am truly honored to become the first creative director for Foot Locker's women's business and for the opportunity to help shape and build upon the impact of their brand on a global scale,” commented Ehsani. “I look forward to bringing my set of experiences to the table - not just as a designer, but as a longtime customer.”
Ehsani’s appointment comes at a time when the women’s streetwear and sneaker markets are experiencing accelerated growth. In a recent report, resale marketplace StockX said that sales of women’s sneakers have increased 1,500x on its platform since it launched five years ago. According to the company, it currently sells the same number of women’s sneakers as it did in the whole of 2016 every four hours.
Elsewhere, Nike, which identified women’s products as a key growth opportunity in its 2020 annual report, revealed that growth in the segment outpaced the company’s overall growth in Q2 2021.
Foot Locker, which operates some 3,000 points of sale in 28 countries, reported annual net income of $323 million on sales of $7.55 billion in 2020.
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