Fashion, art, and music all have one thing in common: they are cyclical in nature. Trends come, they gain popularity, and eventually reach their peak. After a while, be it 15 minutes or 15 years, their popularity inevitably declines. Eventually, yesterday’s hottest trend becomes outdated and unfashionable, and that trend moves closer to obsolescence. But this obsolescence is not always permanent. Some fads come back with a vengeance. Just take a look at Netflix, where megahits like Stranger Things contain heavy doses of 80s nostalgia. Looking at clothing, young, fashionable women spent much of the 2010s wearing high-waisted jeans resembling an 80s trend, despite how this style was ridiculed as “mom jeans” in the 90s and the aughts. If a company, artist, or fashion brand is lucky enough to see their popularity cycle back, they have to be ready to take full advantage. Here we are in the early 2020s, and it looks like 90s nostalgia is in full swing, and Buffalo Boots’ COO Mirko Ostendoerfer is ready for the company’s return to the spotlight.
Re-spice up your life!
Buffalo Boots was best known as the iconic footwear of one of the most iconic girl groups of the 90s, the Spice Girls. The British band took the world by storm in 1996 with its smash hit “Wannabe”, and the group went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide. When London hosted the Olympics in 2012, none other than the Spice Girls were selected to perform at the closing ceremony. Part of the group’s charm was their bold fashion choices, including their affinity for Buffalo Boots. A typical Buffalo Boot is an oversized sneaker with a bulky platform below it, and those platforms can be from 5 to 15 centimetres. Part of their appeal is that they are completely ridiculous, ostentatious, and impractical, so they really trigger nostalgia for the 90s rave culture.
Despite the dizzying peaks of success in the 90s, the trainers fell off their lofty pedestal, or should I say platform. For a couple of long decades, the shoes were completely out of favour. That is, until the company decided to make bold choices, including sending free pairs of their shoes to icons like Gigi Hadid and Billie Eilish, whose posts on social media wearing the shoes brought them back to relevance. According to Mr Ostendoerfer, “They wear our shoes because they love the shoes, and we did not pay one cent for it…This is the most important thing for us: to be authentic, because the community recognises very fast whether you do something paid or unpaid”.
The company have been more than ready to take advantage of their reinvigorated image; they have partnered with top designers like Vivienne Westwood to spur further growth. Moreover, they have expanded their licensing strategy, so now you can find the Buffalo Boots brand on belts, jewellery, watches, leather jackets, beachwear, socks, and fragrances. And according to the COO, the brand will “for sure be entering new, strong markets, like Asia”. There is a common misconception that lightning does not strike the same place twice. That’s actually far from the truth scientifically speaking: lightning hits the same spots quite frequently. The same is true when it comes to fashion, but Buffalo Boots is yet another example of how companies have to be ready, willing, and able to take advantage of it when it’s their chance to capture lightning in a bottle yet again.