Founded in 1947 in Annecy, France, as a specialist in ski binding design and production, Salomon expanded into shoes in the early 1990s. Since then, the brand has focused on this sector, offering running and trail shoes and the «Advanced» lifestyle collection, which combines its core functionality and fit into street-ready sneakers.
The Advanced program has struck a chord with sneakerheads, streetwear enthusiasts, designers, stylists and tastemakers. The partnerships with The Broken arm and Boris Bidjan Saberi helped reframe the brand when it was still seen as a pure performance label. Since 2016, when JP Lalonde joined Salomon to lead its Sportstyle division, the brand changed approach, recontextualizing the shoes through the simple fact of changing the color application and being available to a different market.
As well as using new colorways, Salomon has also recontextualized its footwear through a range of collaborations, like Palace, and wander, Comme des Garçons and many more, everyone with a different point of view.
“The shoes are designed exactly for an athlete’s needs,” Lalonde says, but “on the other end, with Sportstyle we’re also building shoes for the top athletes of the fashion world, like Rei Kawakubo or Boris Bidjan Saberi".
More recently, Salomon has found favor with a crowd more used to fashion weeks than trails. This newfound audience is partly due to the rise of "Gorpcore", a specific outdoor-wear trend used nowadays also by colossus of the fashion world.
Just few days ago, for the 2023 Superbowl, Rihanna performed in the halftime in total red wearing the MM6 Maison Margiela's Salomon Cross Low and after that moment, the search for the brand increased by 4050%.
Key products of the brand are the XT-6 - launched in 2012 as THE shoe for ultramarathons and nominated Shoe of the Year in 2019 - the XT-4 - the choosen one for the The Broken Arm collab - and the Speedcross - released in 2006 following the trail shoe market growth.