Southeast Asia’s Homegrown Footwear Brands

The ever-growing Southeast Asia (SEA) footwear market is due to reach USD 1 Billion by end of 2019. To understand more about this rising market, we analysed the Spring 2019 performance of homegrown footwear brands across Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.

Written by Atiqah KamarudinJuly 1, 2019


As reported by Statista, the revenue in the Footwear segment in Southeast Asia (SEA) is expected to reach at least USD1 billion by the end of 2019. The proliferation of global and homegrown brands entering the region, coupled with increasing disposable income, have contributed to strong sales growth.

SEA homegrown brands have made waves in the region’s fashion scene with their carefully curated style and artistry. What initially started at the local bazaars and Instagram are now made accessible with Zalora and FashionValet – the regional marketplace hubs that are actively promoting homegrown brands.

In this report, we reviewed Zalora across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, to analyse Spring 2019 performance of homegrown brands and how they measured up on the global stage.

More than 5,000 data points were screened for a 4-month duration, from January to April 2019, with brands shortlisted based on high assortment count and popularity in the region. Homegrown brands in focus include Primadonna, Berrybenka Label, Zalora, Pazzion, and Nelissa Hilman. International brands selected for the comparison were Aldo, Public Desire, Rubi, Melissa and Topshop.


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Brand Performance Overview

Overall, international footwear brands had 56% more assortment than homegrown brands but were heavy on discounted items (79% vs. 45% in Chart 1). Homegrown brands were able to showcase substantial brand equity, recording comparable sell-out as the international brands and at higher full price contribution (43% vs. 18%).



Despite its higher price point, Pazzion managed to achieve an above average sell-out rate (62%) without any discounting.



On the flip side, both Zalora and Berrybenka had the most discounted items. While Zalora did deliver a high sell-out, it is only with 1% newness – this showed signs of a potential market exit. Berrybenka, on the other hand, produced the least sell-out. With Shoes as its second largest category, the dismal performance calls for the urgency in reviewing the existing strategy.


Top 5 Subcategories

The top subcategories were Mules and Sandals & Flip Flops amongst new-in items from both SEA and international brands. SEA brands launched low-heels and easy-to-wear styles, with Mules contributing 28% to the total newness.

Sneakers were trending for international brands but mostly core classics such as plimsolls à la Vans and Converse over progressive chunky ‘dad’ shape as seen in other fast fashion brands.


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Key Runway Styles in Review

Some of the major trends on the SS19 runways included:

Smart Animal Prints

Animal prints were not only massive on the season’s catwalks for apparels but also footwear. The snake print, in particular, reigned supreme at Off-White where it sent down strappy stilettos in all-over loud neon green. Other memorable prints included cow print, as seen with Burberry’s take on ankle-strapped open-toe heeled mules in a classic colourway.

Transparent Element

While the animal prints showcased a more dressy appeal, the transparent shoes took on a more playful spin. Chanel showcased the ‘90s trend on simple low heel sliders with coloured trimmings and a brand logo up front. Meanwhile, Alexa Chung created buzz on its jelly sandals by replacing the traditional buckle with embellished crystals.

Square Toe Classics

Squared-toe shoes, another ‘90s style, saw Balenciaga with an update on the classic black ankle boots with a square front, finished with gold BB hardware. Fendi interpreted this trend on classic satin pumps with futuristic and edgy design in fun colours.

The next chapter deep dived into the adoption rate of these trends among the local and international brands.


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Key Runway Styles’ Adoption in Southeast Asia

The homegrown brands were only starting to gain momentum on Transparent Elements and Square Toe Classics, while the international brands in Zalora SEA were seen tailing closely with the SS19 key runway styles. As seen on SP19 in Chart 3, there’s an upward movement on new-in for the key runway styles, except for Square Toe Classics.


Homegrown Brands

The new-in movement depicted by the homegrown labels suggested Zalora did not extensively offer these runway styles. Out of the three trends, transparent shoes were the most promising, albeit in small quantity. The square toe trend was in high demand the last SS18, before facing a gradual decline. With that said, the trend looked to slowly gaining demand again entering summer.


International Brands

Stocking up more towards the end of 2018, the number of new arrivals decked in animal prints jumped 16x more during SS19 compared to the corresponding period in the prior year. The clear trend also showed an upward trend to reach an all-time high at the end of Apr ’19. Public Desire mainly led these two trends.

Despite its least new-in count, square toe shoes overall had a higher new-in this SP19 compared to the same period last year.


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Key Runway Styles Interpreted by the International Brands

Smart Animal Prints, Transparent Elements and Square Toe Classics accounted for a combined total of 52% of the international brands’ total new-in.

The international brands were more fashion-forward with a cross-application of different trends, as seen on strappy and flat sandals, slingbacks and mules. Colour choices were predominantly core, retaining the colours of the classic print – black, brown, grey and white.

The see-through trend was most represented by styles with just certain parts of the shoes, either the upper straps or the heels, in transparent materials.

Square toe trend was observed in clean and minimalist designs, mostly in heeled and flat sandals, closed-toe mules and ballet flats, and often in snake print.

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Meet the Author

Atiqah Kamarudin

Nur Atiqah Kamarudin is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Omnilytics. With past experience at Nielsen and Euromonitor, she has spent years analysing data and unearthing insights to help brands and retailers make informed decisions. She currently produces reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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