When the highly acquisitive Groupe Royer bought the Kickers brand a couple of years ago, Italy was not part of the deal because the brand has been registered in the country by an Italian shoe manufacturer, Società Italiana Calzature (SIC). While SIC doesn’t want to sell its own rights to the brand, it has agreed to deliver a lot of 15 models and nearly 18,000 pairs from its own collection for the first time next month to the French group for sale in its markets as a test for possible future collaboration.

The French and Italian Kickers lines are different, but they are both being expanded beyond the core children’s target to appeal to adults. SIC reports positive results for a 1-year-old Kickers store in Milan that is completely focused on the adult segment, acting also a sort of laboratory to test new ideas.

The Italian Kickers has also run some interesting new initiatives lately. Besides sponsoring a volleyball team, it has launched a transactional website where consumers can order a customized version of an iconic Kickers shoe launched in 1968, called Original Raw. Customers can choose up to 215,000 different combinations of three colors on different parts of the shoe, which sells for €140 a pair over the internet. A dedicated workshop manned by three people near SIC’s head office in the Marche region makes and delivers the shoes within six days anywhere in Italy. Strong demand was recorded for this vintage model before last Christmas.

SIC is also repeating the establishment of a temporary Kickers store, in partnership with a local retailer, in the city of Perugia in connection with the Umbria Jazz Festival next July. It did the same thing in Lucca last November on the occasion of an international film festival specializing in cartoons.