If you've been dreaming of sneakers made with Serta's carbon-fiber cooling technology, you'll get a kick out of this limited-edition offering from the mattress retailer.
The company teamed up with hip-hop artist and designer DJ Clark Kent to create the iC1 shoe, which incorporates the brand's carbon-infused memory foam and Max-Cold fabric to help keep feet cool.
The handmade unisex kicks, which sell for $99, "were created out of our desire to authentically tap into the lifestyle of our consumer audience in a way that would be disruptive but also engaging," says Serta vp of marketing Onney Crawley, who credits ad shop Leo Burnett with developing the concept.
So … why a sneaker and not, say, a bathrobe or hoodie? Or a drum kit?
"Sneaker culture is a growing phenomenon, and we know that many consumers in our target audience have an appreciation and interest in it," Crawley says. "So, rather than wait for our consumers to come into a mattress store, we thought it would be a great idea to bring our latest mattress technologies to them in a unique and inspiring way. The iC1 is the first sneaker that allows you to experience an iComfort mattress without ever lying down."
Kent got the call based on his high profile in the streetwear community. (Back in 2010, he designed the special-edition "Five Boroughs Air Force 1" for Nike.)
"We wanted someone with his passion and authenticity to be a part of this," Crawley explains. "He was involved in all aspects of the collaboration and sneaker design, from concept to material selection to packaging to production and more." (PETA trigger warning: To create the shoes, he mixed crocodile, lizard and ostrich embossed leather with mattress components and cooling foam.)
"When I was approached by Serta, I was humbled and honored but also very intrigued," says Kent. "It's not often a mattress company wants to create a shoe, but I was up for the challenge."
The iC1s are available for pre-order online, and they'll nap on the shelves of Urban Necessities stores in New York City and Las Vegas starting Dec. 10. Just 300 pairs were produced, and there's no post-launch inventory planned. So don't oversleep on that iComfort mattress, or you might miss out!
To expand their customer base and build buzz, Serta and rivals like Casper and Sleep Number have tried some innovative tactics in recent years. Cutesy podcasts and edgy advertising abound. On Mother's Day, Serta even accepted babies as coupons.
"The brand's consumer-centric focus has allowed us to think differently about how we engage and delight our consumer audience," Crawley says. "The new sneaker launch is one way we are doing so, and we have more exciting things planned for the future."
Serta iC1 Sneaker
Melanie Huet, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer
Onney Crawley, VP Serta Brand
Justin Johns, Sr. Brand Director, iComfort
John Newsome, Brand Manager, Serta
Lindsey Scales, Brand Manager, iComfort
Christopher Chunglo, Director, New Product Development, Serta Simmons Bedding
Chief Creative Officer: Jordan Doucette
EVP Executive Creative Director: Brian Shembeda
SVP Creative Director: Jeff Candido
Associate Creative Director, Copy: Chip Kelly
Associate Creative Director, Art: Kat Hale
Senior Copywriter: Kyla Galloway
Senior Copywriter: Soham Chatterjee
EVP Head of Design: Alisa Wolfson
SVP Design Director: Alex Fuller
Designer: Austin White
EVP Head of Production: Veronica Puc
SVP Executive Producer: Juan Woodbury
Associate Producer: Alina Carrel
EVP Business Development: Mark Burgess
Account Director: Alexis Andreasik
Account Executive: Shannon Rodeberg
EVP Strategy Director: Pushpa Gopalan
Senior Strategist: Lauren Schiappa
Erin Gambolati - Account Director
Kevin Russel - Media Supervisor
Kevin Schoenfeld - Assistant Media Planner
Jasmine Jang - Media Planner
Katherine Flowers - Social Supervisor
Mikey Yoder -Social planner
Brian Conway - Social Assistant Planner
Jen Dolan - Group Director
Shoe Designer: DJ Clark Kent
Shoe Production: Garrixon Studios
Creative Director, Garrixon: Rich Franklin
Bag Production: Makr
Owner & Designer, Makr: Jason Gregory
Tag Production: Classic Color
Photographer: Joe Bankmann
Photo Assist: Michael Tutino
Photo Assist: Janessa Gates
SVP Director of Integrated Production Services: Julie Regimand
Retouching: Eric Gann
Production Company: Stoptime Live
Director of Photography: Chris Andrew
Editor: Kat Pryor
Assistant Editor: Victoria Aquende
Executive Producer: Heather Mitchell
Producer: Lauren Gray
Audio Engineer: Brian Leitner