During the 1970s, Warrior (回力) brand sneakers were the hottest shoes in China — its bright, clean design a sharp contrast to the drab homogeneity of Communist China. Continuing into the 1980s, the shoe remained a status symbol for Chinese teenagers who were well-off enough to don a pair of famous Warriors.

But as China opened up economically, so did the marketplace for sneaker brands. While the 50 year-old Warrior name was still well-known in China, it was no longer well-known as one of the premier Chinese brands. Instead, Warrior shoes became the shoe of the working class — worn by poor construction workers, elderly women and rural citizens looking for a pair of cheap, durable shoes, not an expensive brand name (and mark-up).

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER CONTENT
PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in