British luxury car maker McLaren is getting into sneakers for the first time as it seeks to reach more consumers through fashion and streetwear partnerships.
The automaker teamed up with shoe label Athletic Propulsion Labs on the shoe’s debut.Called the HySpeed, the limited-edition shoe comes in five colors that incorporate design elements from McLaren’s supercars, such as seats and aerodynamics. A running trainer with a carbon fiber plate and nitrogen-infused cushioning. Management said the project started from scratch and has been in development for two years.
At $450, the line is APL’s most expensive to date, and is available in Los Angeles stores and online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter, Italy’s Luisa Via Roma, Hong Kong’s Pedder Group and the United Arab Emirates. It will be sold at retailers such as Level Shoes. .
HySpeed is McLaren’s latest move in fashion, selling clothing and accessories that liven up the supercar brand’s hype. The company has previously partnered with designer brands such as Belstaff and Rhude on its apparel collections, and sells eyewear under sustainable brand SunGod.
Gareth Dunsmore, McLaren’s Chief Marketing Officer, said, “Whether it’s sunglasses, sneakers or streetwear, the collaboration licensing relationship is exactly what we’re trying to do. “It’s about making sure we stay relevant,” he said.
McLaren is in rough shape as demand for its supercars has stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, delaying the launch of its latest model, the Artura. Last month, the company said it raised $150 million from shareholders as cash dwindled. Its shareholders include investment firm Ares Management Corp., Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
At the same time, the McLaren name is gaining new fans in the important US market through its Formula One team. The sport is gaining viewers in North America with more local races and a hit show from Netflix Inc. highlighting McLaren’s racing his drivers and executives. In July, the team signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with US footwear brand K-Swiss, with the product due to launch next year.
A celebrity favorite that has captivated stars like Lady Gaga and Chrissy Teigen, APL rarely collaborates, but previously worked with sportswear giant Lululemon on performance footwear. Jin said he plans to extend his deal with McLaren.
APL co-founder Ryan Goldston said: “This is a dream come true for us.”