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TikTok Comments Push Converse To Bring Back Discontinued Sneaker Model


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Converse has brought back its knee-high XXHi sneakers after relentless demands from consumers on TikTok. The brand first noticed calls for the return of the sneakers in 2021. Comments like “Bring back knee-high Converse!” appeared on various videos, regardless of their relevance to the shoes. This caught the attention of Converse’s Chief Marketing Officer Rodney Rambo.

Despite not officially announcing the revival until a few weeks before their June 28 launch, the social media effort surrounding the return of the XXHi sneakers was in progress for about two years. The updated version includes a zipper for easier wear, aiming to make the design more relevant for today’s consumers.

Converse’s decision comes at a critical time, as the brand’s revenue fell 14% in Nike’s latest fiscal year, including an 18% decline in the fourth quarter. The initial call for the return of the knee-high shoes coincided with a resurgence of Y2K fashion, a trend fueled by nostalgia for styles popular in the early 2000s. Converse’s knee-highs, first released in 2006, were especially popular among the emo and scene subcultures of that era.

The hashtag #KneeHighConverse currently has nearly 33 million views on TikTok, illustrating the demand. Converse and its social media agency, Day One Agency, compiled comments from fans for the campaign announcing the sneakers’ return. These comments ranged from calm requests to fervent pleas, demonstrating the passion of the sneaker’s fans.

During the development process, Converse made several social media posts to acknowledge the demand. On April Fool’s Day 2022, they uploaded a looping TikTok video hinting at the sneakers’ return. In a subsequent TikTok video, the brand referenced the abundance of comments about the knee-high sneakers, which garnered nearly 700,000 likes and 5.5 million views.

Converse also involved influencers and celebrities in the lead-up to the launch. They gifted a pair of knee-highs to singer-songwriter SZA for her performance at Tyler the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw music festival and collaborated with designer Martine Ali on a grungier version of the sneakers. After the official announcement, Converse sent pairs to over a dozen loyal fans who had been requesting the sneakers, generating additional excitement.

The re-released sneakers saw high demand due to the substantial online buzz. Converse plans to continue gathering consumer feedback for potential future variations and improvements. Rambo emphasized the importance of consumer input, stating, “People tell the best stories, not brands. Our consumers were asking for something that they felt was pretty special. So, it was best for us to listen, connect, engage and collaborate with them.”

The resurgence of Converse’s knee-high XXHi sneakers underscores the power of social media in shaping consumer trends and influencing brand decisions in today’s digital age. As TikTok continues to amplify consumer voices and preferences, brands like Converse are adapting and leveraging these platforms to connect more authentically with their audiences.

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