When Chinese-born, France-based brand Feiyue (“flying forward”) landed its kids’ kicks on U.S. soil last year it had an inkling the scaled-down sneakers would be a hit. After all, actions speak louder than words and since the line was lifted from relative obscurity in 2006 the children’s collection represents 8 percent of its global turnover. “Colorful designs and accessible prices make the range very attractive for buyers,” says Cynthia Pelletier, the brand’s North American sales manager.
Started way back in 1920s Shanghai and built off the core tenants of quality and timeless aesthetics, the heritage-inspired brand debuted takedowns of its bestselling adults’ styles in European sizes 22 to 34 during the Spring ’13 markets, with child-friendly details like Velcro straps and multicolored eyelets in materials spanning canvas, suede and leather to denim, nylon and wool. For this fall, the brand has added two new styles: the Feiyue Hi Kid, a high-top version of the classic Feiyue Lo Kid, and the A.S. High Kid, an urban sneaker featuring three hook-and-loop straps on the upper.
“Feiyue Kids’ many different designs are specially adapted to children’s needs. Comfortable, colorful and practical, they’re perfect to be worn daily,” says Cristina Alvarez, international marketing manager, who adds that the price tag (the line wholesales from $12 to $26) makes them affordable to most parents. Also on the fall horizon is a collaboration with Milk on the Rocks, an eclectic kids’ clothing line based in New York. “For little boys dreaming of exotic adventures, a tiger motif sneaker, and for little girls, a romantic style in pink and gold featuring a heart-shaped tongue,” Alvarez shares.
Feiyue is hoping to reinforce its retail presence in New York this year as well as expanding distribution to the rest of the country. In addition, the brand will launch an online store this May for the U.S. and Canada. “Our existing e-shop already delivers to these countries, but the warehouse is still located in France which unfortunately means added fees and shipping time for our North American consumers,” Pelletier says, but she’s quick to add that it hasn’t stopped U.S. sales from flourishing. “The love and demand for Feiyue in the U.S. is strong, as most of our online sales come from [there],” she says.