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On running shoes launches first lifestyle sneaker

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Fashion |Interview

On, the Swiss footwear brand backed by tennis star Roger Federer, is launching its first fashion-focused sneaker, the Cloudnova, as it looks to expand its audience beyond running and move into the lifestyle market.

The Cloudnova has been designed with a premium sneaker audience in mind, as the first drop on May 7 will be available worldwide at Dover Street Market and MatchesFashion, as well as at select retail partners including Bodega and Shoe Gallery in the US, Atmos in Japan, and 43einhalb in Germany, who were chosen as they “challenge conventions” a motion that resonates with On, an explorer brand born in the Swiss mountains.

As with any style from On, the Cloudnova is built with technology that’s very much performance-oriented, featuring the Swiss footwear brand’s award-winning CloudTec sole that is fully cushioned and agile, and is described by the brand as being "almost weightless”. The sleek, lightweight style has a sock-like construction and includes On’s signature Speedboard, a molded plate that aims to add a spring to your step.

“Sneakers come from an athletics background, but in the past, fashion only borrowed from the silhouette,” explained On co-founder David Allemann to FashionUnited over e-mail. “On, as a Swiss performance running shoe brand, has created a sneaker that carries the same performance technology as any of On’s running shoes. The Cloudnova is infused with the same award-winning performance technology that we grew up with.”

The inspiration behind the Cloudnova sneaker was to create an all-day comfort shoe, while also tapping into the popularity of merging genres across fashion, sportswear and outdoor gear, with the brand explaining that they have fused everything they know about running tech to make a sneaker that offers “responsive comfort and urban energy”.

Allemann, added: “Our goal was to create a sneaker for all-day comfort infused with our running technology. Our generation is blurring the boundaries between work, home, sports and play, this new lifestyle is emerging for all at light speed, and a new reality is asking for a new type of all-day comfort.

“On fans have been wearing their favourite running shoes from On as a sneaker all day, every day for several years, they appreciate the comfort and the sensation. If you look at it from this point of view, engineering a sneaker was a very organic thing for On.”

Roger Federer-backed On running launches first fashion-focused sneaker the Cloudnova

While some brands have been putting new launches and collections on hold due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, On states, that they never considered postponing.

“We have been working on the Cloudnova for the last 2 years to optimise our running technology for all-day comfort. We wanted to create the most comfortable shoe that takes you everywhere and challenges conventions,” added Allemann. “In the past weeks, from our homes, we decided to accelerate the launch and have now a first limited drop available. We have been in touch with select pioneering retail partners that challenge conventions and champion new ideas.”

The first launch of the On Cloudnova, which the brand said will be “ultra-limited”, will be available in Black Eclipse and White Umber colourways in sizes for men and women, priced 135 pounds.

This is the first major consumer launch from On since Federer joined the company as a “close partner” after investing an undisclosed sum last November. At the time, On said that the tennis player would be using his “unique experience” to propel the sports shoe brand’s “product development, marketing and fan experiences to new levels”.

Founded in 2010 by Allemann with his friends Olivier Bernhard and Caspar Coppetti, On has become a major disruptor in the athletic footwear market due to its lightweight ‘cloud’ cushioned running shoes. The footwear brand is based in Zurich, Portland, Berlin, Yokohama and Shanghai, and is currently available at 6,000 retailers in more than 55 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia-Pacific.

Images: courtesy of On

Dover Street Market
On Running
Roger Federer