Blog - Slades, a new brand signed Flaneurz
In June 2021, Flaneurz presented its second brand, Slades. The challenge at the core of this project was to conceive a skates-shoe offering the same innovation as Flaneurz, at a more affordable price. Research on the product, on the brand identity, or on the manufacturing process: there were many stakes for this ambitious project. Let’s go back to Slades’ history, from the idea to its finalization.
/THE GENESIS OF THE PROJECT AND CREATION OF THE S-QUAD
If the universe of Flaneurz detachable roller skates is familiar to you, you have probably heard about Slades. For users, it is an alternative to the Flaneurz models, offering an experience of the same quality. The mechanical system allowing to switch from walking to rolling is common to both brands. What changes is the shoe: at Slades, we have developed our own sneaker!
Starting from Flaneurz’s birth, the idea to create an affordable second offer, both on the financial and physical plans, was in the spirit of the co-founders. Conceiving our own sneaker with European components and steering away from any dependency to other shoe brands, while optimizing the production line and shipping times, are at the heart of this project.
After a strong growth for Flaneurz since its creation in 2014, the Team could dedicate itself to the development of this idea. End of 2019, the project was launched: market studies, reflection on the project and research of partners.
In resonance with our societal values, we wished to create a product with French components. Thus, engineers from our research department started the conceptualization of the product and its mechanical system. In collaboration with the supply department, they sourced the French suppliers of our mechanical pieces.
Once these steps were over, it was necessary to conceive the sole. To find the manufacturers capable of answering to our demands for its realization was another challenge. It is in Portugal that the Team has found partners able to create a sole manufacturing process specific to Slades: the bi-injection. Therefore, multiple trips have been necessary to set up this production.
Afterwards, Mathilde, Marketing Manager, took over the shoe design. It was of great importance because we wished to conceive a unisex and comfortable sneaker that would suit the practice of roller skating and correspond to the desires of our community. In collaboration with Salomon, French designer, we imagined the design of the S-QUAD. We drew our inspiration in the trending sneaker consumer habits as well as the archives of the most ordered models with the Flaneurz Custom offer. The inner shape of the shoe required some research time too in order to ensure a maximal comfort.
/THE CREATION OF A UNIVERSE
© Amaury Cibot
In parallel with technical developments, the Communication and Marketing department worked hand in hand to create Slades, its naming and identity. Firstly, we collaborated with an agency - LeBrand - to establish a brand name, a tag line as well as a first version of the Slades design guidelines.
After defining the universe in a broad outline, the agency handed the work to our artistic director. He created and developed the design guidelines that accompany your Slades experience. The final version of the logo and pictogram representing the brand, as well as the choice of colors are his. Blue, red, gradients or movements: many elements that echo to the world of skating, and symbolize the skater's route. The name “Slades” has also been chosen for its hidden symbolism. Outperformance, Freedom, Attitude, Diversity, Eco-responsibility and of course Sports: such are the keywords characterizing the brand. Through this acronym in french, we promote a new ecological, fun and trendy way of transport to the youth around the world.
The brand identity also goes through its representatives, selected with care to embody the Slades values. The first faces of Slades were Esty and Darion, who gave life to our first campaign. The adventure continued with 40 content creators during the fall of 2021. After being a model for Flaneurz, Junior Jmss became our first brand ambassador. Former aggressive skater, he had experience in roller skating and was conquered by the concept. Passionate for riding sports, close to his community and based in Paris, Junior was the perfect profile to represent the brand. You can find him in the launch video, presenting inter-compatibility between Flaneurz and Slades or through his visit to the manufacturing workshop.
On June 1st, 2021, history began for Sladers, with the start of our pre-orders month. This operation ended on the 30th of June 2021 and marked a promising brand launch with 4893 pairs of skates-shoes sold, out of the 5000 initially objectified. Over the following months, the Team worked on setting up the production line at the Grenoble Factory, and prepared the brand website.
Today, the Factory can store up to 297 pallets of raw materials and finished products. With 6 production operators, it has the capacity to produce up to 270 pairs of skates-shoes per month. Our operators produce on stock and make 1200 each month, ensuring shipping times of 2 to 3 days worldwide.
/SLADES: A YEAR AFTER
Slades has traveled a long way. The initial challenges of the project are taken up. The Flaneurz Team succeeded in conceiving its own product from A to Z, setting up an optimized production line, and ensuring the accessibility of this product for all types of skaters.
The Marketing department progressively develops the Slades catalog to offer a panoply of accessories which complete the pack of skates-shoes. The S-QUAD, initially sold in packs only, is now also available with the Change Your Shoes offer.
Now, the Communication department collaborates with 61 skating enthusiasts who represent us in all corners of the world, including two official ambassadors: @Cloverskate and @Zoerollerskates. All these unique personalities share our values and make Slades shine daily.
The Slades community grows day after day, and now rises above 200 000 followers cumulated on our social media. Our community is international: within a year, we have sold Slades on each continent, in more than 40 countries! 80% of our sales are exported, 40% in the United States.
First only sold online on our eshop, then physically in our Pantin shop on appointment, the Slades skates-shoes aim to be available in other retail locations for more accessibility. The Commercial department has taken in charge the canvassing of selling partners over the first semester of the year 2022. We wish to rely on a network of enthusiasts and experts in the fields of roller skating, urban riding, sneakers and innovation.
Nowadays, you can buy your Slades from multiple retailers in Europe. For practical and geographical reasons, we are establishing our first partnerships in Europe, but we have the ambition to reach as many countries with professionals as with individuals.
You also have a role to play! You wish to be able to try on our skates-shoes in a nearby retail location? Then send us the information of your favorite shop at the address [email protected], and tell them about us.
Today, the team has only one goal: to carry the project as far as possible, in order to democratize soft mobility thanks to skates-shoes. The Slades pack is perfect to initiate yourself to our mechanical system. The Flaneurz and Slades Change Your Shoes models will make you vary the pleasures and will complete your skating experience. A new lifestyle is offered to you, what if you adopt it?
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