After Months of Anticipation, Deckers CEO Dave Powers Reveals New ‘Super Sneaker Brand’

Since last fall, Deckers Brands has teased a new “super sneaker brand.” Now, the scope of the project is in full view.

Called Ahnu, many market watchers following the Goleta, Calif.-based footwear company for a while might recognize the name. In fact, in 2009, Deckers acquired the Ahnu label for an undisclosed sum and ran the then outdoor focused shoe brand until the company shuttered its operations in 2018.

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But Tuesday’s announcement is not considered a relaunch of the Anhu of the past. “We originally had no intention of using the Ahnu name for this project, but we were having challenges coming up with a name that we could use on a global level when it came to securing trademark rights and all of those things,” Deckers Brands president and chief executive officer Dave Powers told FN in an exclusive interview ahead of the launch. “So we landed on Ahnu because we already had the IP (intellectual property) and we have all the sites globally, so it just made sense. Choosing this name saved us a lot of headaches of setting up sites globally, and integrating with our systems and everything. It made it super easy for us.”

And while the new launch shares the same name as its predecessor, the two are nothing alike. When Powers first teased the idea of this new brand in October during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, he told analysts that Deckers would be investing in creating a new brand that he described as a “super sneaker brand across various categories that combine the best of Hoka and Ugg along with all the learnings the company has from those two brands.”

Ahnu, sneakers, Sequence 1, Deckers, Deckers Brands, launch, brand launch, debut, shoes
The new Ahnu Sequence 1 low sneaker. JIM GOLDEN

The final result is what Powers calls a “true sneaker brand” that incorporates “timeless and modern style with innovative materials” meant for all-day wear and comfort.

Ahnu’s debut shoe is called the Sequence 1 sneaker. Inspired by a running shoe but meant to be worn throughout the day for most occasions, the Sequence 1 is crafted with a high rebound, durable PEBA foam and a responsive carbon-fiber plate for all-day comfort.

The new Sequence 1 sneaker is now available in low, mid, and high variations, each priced at $225, $240, and $255, respectively. According to Powers, the debut shoe is available in-store at two NYC retailers, ONS and Westerlind. Online purchases on Ahnu’s e-commerce site will start on March 14.

Ahnu, sneakers, Sequence 1, Deckers, Deckers Brands, launch, brand launch, debut, shoes
A campaign shot from the new debut Ahnu Sequence 1 sneaker. Johanna Siring

This launch comes one month after Deckers Brands reported its largest quarter in history in February, driven by its star Hoka and Ugg brands. The Goleta, Calif.-based footwear company reported that net sales in the third quarter of 2024 increased 16 percent to $1.560 billion compared to $1.346 billion the same time last year.

By brand, Hoka saw the largest increase in sales in the third quarter, reporting a 21.9 percent rise to $429.3 million compared to $352.1 million in Q3 2023. Ugg also continued its winning streak in the period, posting net sales of $1.072 billion, a 15.2 percent increase from $930.4 million last year.

Ahnu, sneakers, Sequence 1, Deckers, Deckers Brands, launch, brand launch, debut, shoes
The new Ahnu Sequence 1 low sneaker. JIM GOLDEN

As for how Ahnu fits into the Deckers portfolio at a time when the company is winning in the shoe market, Powers sees it as the possible future of the company. “I’ve always told the teams here that we have two incredible growth brands right now, and at some point, we may need another one,” the CEO said. “I think it’s always important to have green shoots in your company that could be the next big brand, or that you can learn a lot from and apply to other businesses. But the idea for me is we’re going to start planting seeds now for future growth drivers.”

Looking ahead, Powers is taking a slow and steady approach to building the brand. “We want to use this first sneaker to gain recognition for the brand, get the brand out there, versus layering in a number of styles from the start and not getting traction on at least one of them,” Powers said.

But that doesn’t mean more styles are not in the works. The CEO added that that the Ahnu team is looking into a court style sneaker, a skate sneaker, and even a basketball sneaker. “We are exploring many different categories and will develop our iteration, our interpretation of what defines that segment, while also incorporating our own materials and technologies,” Powers added.

Ahnu, sneakers, Sequence 1, Deckers, Deckers Brands, launch, brand launch, debut, shoes
A campaign shot from the new debut Ahnu Sequence 1 sneaker. Johanna Siring

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