Already a coveted brand in the North, the Dutch casual footwear label is pushing for wider UK distribution.
When Drapers last surveyed the contemporary footwear market for the Indicator survey in the last week of August, we asked retailers to name the hottest new label. One brand kept coming up among the menswear indies: Cruyff Classics.
The brand has been sold in the UK by the 2 Squared agency since spring 08 and agency co-founder Neil Corrie says it has been growing gradually.
However, the Dutch label’s history stretches back to the 1970s, when it was conceived by footballing legend Johan Cruyff, and its football boots have been worn by latter-day Dutch masters including Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp.
But in retail terms it has only been since Corrie and his partner Martyn Harrison have worked with the Dutch design team to tweak the product for the UK that the brand has seen more interest. “There was always something right about the brand”, says Corrie.
“It has a great story and heritage and I have loads of respect for Premium Inc, which holds the licence in Holland. The team has the right experience and vision to grow the brand. From the consumers’ point of view, we feel it’s the right product at the right price. When it sits next to brands like Boss and Y-3, it becomes an entry level luxury brand.”
Corrie adds that the brand’s versatility has been a key ingredient in its popularity. “It means different things to different people. There are the Ed Hardy wearers – quite a youthful audience but also, when you look at how it is sold in premium retailers such as Flannels and Tessuti, it sits more alongside the likes of CP Company and Prada.”
Certainly, with its low-profile and relatively heavy use of patent panels, the footwear does hold a more southern European aesthetic, but the price point is commercial, selling at £36 wholesale with a £90 retail ticket.
The palette is classic, with black, white and grey the dominant shades, which work well for consumers who want to wear it both on the terraces and to go out in the evening.
Because of this glamorous edge to the brand and its designer-led stockists, a premium collection will launch in the UK for autumn 10. Corrie says: “We will introduce a premium level and segment the brand. When you look at the stockist base, it needs that.”
At present, most of those stockists are in the north of England, but word is spreading. Corrie says he is only just embarking on a further sales push, which will soften the North-South divide.
Styles available in the UK
Number of UK accounts, operating 72 doors
Cruyff Classics 07711 928491