The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 173 — Time to hold some feet to the fire
VF Corp has a decision to make
What’s good, family! The Kicks You Wear is back at it again. Thank you so much for rocking with your boy today! I appreciate you.
Hope you’re having a fantastic Labor day weekend! This is one of our most important holidays, though I feel like it’s lost its meaning a bit. Read up on its history here.
Iight, let’s rock.
Time for some accountability
(Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash)
VF Corporation has some cleaning up to do and they’d better do it quickly.
Remember when all of those companies claimed to have a renewed focus on racism after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered last year? VF Corp was one of them.
They released an anti-racism statement comparing racism to Coronavirus with strong words from their CEO, Steve Rendle.
They even observed Juneteenth — a popular play among major corporations.
Yet, somehow, there’s a racist on their board. VF Corp board member Veronica Wu was extremely dismissive of America’s racism problem and called Black Lives Matter the “true racists,” writes Axios’ Courtenay Brown.
Wu said she was “particularly not supportive” of observing Juneteenth as a holiday in an email exchange about it.
She said racism is “by far” not the most important issue we face in this country today. By FAR.
She also went on a ridiculous spiel about how the NBA shouldn’t have so many Black players. I won’t lie. I cackled.
Anyway, VF Corp investigated this email exchange and found the contents were, indeed, her legitimate thoughts. What happened after that? Nothing. She’s still on the board.
These, folks, are your corporate allies.
They drop statements claiming to be your ally, but when push comes to shove they choose the dollar over you every single time.
VF Corp is massive. A lot of people support their brands. Supreme, Timberland, Vans, North Face. This is how they repay those consumers.
VF Corp has a choice to make. They’ve talked the talk. Now it’s time to walk it. Wu has to go. Either you’re anti-racist or you’re part of the problem. No in-between.
Keep an eye on this one and watch what decision they make. That’ll tell you everything you need to know about where they truly stand.
The shipping crisis is still ravaging the industry
(Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)
Shipping delays have been a huge problem over the last two years because of the pandemic.
Entire product chains have slowed because of short staffs, clogged ports, shut down factories.
As a result, inventory is getting harder to come by for certain retailers. We’ve seen delayed drops and scattered releases because of it.
These impacts are wide-ranging across the industry and there doesn’t really seem to be an end in sight. Even for the big companies, delays have become a problem. Big sneaker drops have seen delays — various dunks and Jordan 1’s included.
But big companies like Nike that control the inventory are built to withstand these sorts of delays. They are the supply chain.
But then there’s the little guy, Footwear News’ Shoshy Ciment writes, who has to put in more frequent orders for inventory months ahead of time just to make sure they’re taken care of down the line.
“In many cases, smaller footwear stores lack the capital and storage space needed to carry out such projects. As such, these businesses have had to get creative to navigate delays.”
That’s a rough situation to be in. They’re having to plan for delays they can’t possibly predict months in advance.
When you add in the impact DTC has had on small businesses with brands like Nike, Under Armour and Adidas closing some store accounts, there’s a lot less to choose from than before. That makes navigating all of this much more difficult.
I say all of this to say we’ve already lost a ton of Mom & Pops through this pandemic and we’re probably, unfortunately, going to lose a lot more.
So, when you can, support your local small businesses. That’s the best we can do.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: “Dear Summer” was trash
We had a chance to unbox Virgil Abloh’s “Dear Summer” Dunks on Special Delivery last week thanks to the homie, Sumeet, who sent his W in for a quick look.
Pretty much all of my suspicions about them were confirmed. They just weren’t that interesting. The entire collection just feels lazy. We talked about why they were so disappointing and why it hurts to be this critical of Virgil on these in this week’s episode.
I think y’all will enjoy this one. It’s one of my favorite episodes to date.
Hopefully, they get it right with the next drop.
More Refined Future packs OTW
New Balance’s Protetion Pa…er, uh…Refined Future pack has easily been one of the best general release models to come our way from any brand this year.
The good news is we’re getting more. This time, it’s coming via the 57/40.
Told y’all, man. We have the power.
What’s droppin, bruh?
Friday is going to be a packed release day because of the Social Status Dunk delay. We’ll have some choices to make.
Yeezy Slide “Glow Green” — Monday, September 6
Levis x New Balance 990v3 — Thursday, September 9
Yeezy QNTM “Onyx” — Friday, September 10
JoeFreshGoods x New Balance 990v3 “Outside Clothes” — Friday, September 10
Social Status x Nike Dunk Mid “Chocolate Milk” — Friday, September 10
Good luck, fam! We are going to need it.
Thank y’all so much for rocking with me today, family. Y’all are the absolute best. Have a great Labor Day. Kick back. Have some fun. Enjoy the end of summer.
Til next time, family. Peace. Love. Be safe. Be easy. Be kind. We out.