Ellesse Is Relaunching in U.S. With Retro ’90s Sneakers and Sportswear

Jennie Bell

Another ’90s fashion label is making a comeback.

Italian sportswear brand Ellesse will return to the North American market starting this month, after seeing a resurgence during the past couple of years in the U.K. and Europe.

The label, which is owned by Pentland Brands Ltd., was founded in 1959 by tailor Leonardo Servadio, who was looking to create style-conscious ski-wear (a new concept at the time). It later expanded into other sports categories and became particularly strong in the tennis market. Over the years, its logo has been spotted on top pros including Chris Evert, Boris Becker and Anna Kournikova.

For its return to North America, Ellesse is celebrating its heritage with a retro-inspired collection of footwear and apparel. Expect to see lots of chunky soles, oversized logos and bold color-blocking on items such as the Vinitziana and Piacentino low-profile trainers.

Robert Dundon, SVP of sales and marketing for Pentland USA, said in a statement, “Our approach to storytelling through bold color and style will resonate with a variety of consumers here in the United States. We’re looking forward to reintroducing the brand into the market and building Ellesse into a truly global sportswear brand.”

The products are debuting this month in premiere boutiques including Extra Butter, Concepts, Nice Kicks and Packer Shoes, which already has a pair of the Vinitziana sneakers in an understated off-white colorway, priced at $115.

And in December, the line will begin rolling out to a wider selection of regional and national retailers, such as Urban Outfitters, Foot Locker and DTLR.

The fashion world’s fascination with the ’90s is having ripple effects across the footwear market. Aside from Ellesse, numerous brands including Fila, K-Swiss, Etnies and Champion have been seeing fresh excitement for their merchandise, fueled by nostalgic older customers who wore the labels decades ago and by young consumers who are discovering the lines for the first time.

In a recent conversation with FN, Pierre-Andre Senizergues, the long-time owner of Etnies said, “There’s a movement to reconnect with brands you lost touch with.”

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