Slack’s Latest Collaboration Falls Flat on Its Feet

Slack’s ticker symbol is “WORK,” not “PLAY.”

Shares of the online-messaging company have risen 44% this year as more remote workers have turned to its communication tools amid the pandemic. Now Slack is trying to get some new kicks offline. In what GQ magazine has termed a “bizarre” collaboration, the company has teamed up with clothier Cole Haan on a sneaker seemingly branded for today’s tech elite.

It may want to stick to e-threads. The reception for the $120 limited-edition shoes, which dropped last week, looks muted at best. Perhaps that is because the defining feature of the knit design is Slack’s “octothorpe” logo—much cooler on your web browser at home than as a fashion statement out in the wild.

Twitter TWTR -1.11% users responding to ads for the shoes called them “perplexing” and “embarrassing,” wondering whether they make a ding sound when the wearer steps or if an invite was necessary for purchase. The collaboration of a young tech company with a clothing brand known for its old-school office vibe certainly doesn’t scream “2020.” Slack could have partnered with Adidas for an athleisure suit branded “All Day I Dream About WORK.” Even Crocs, CROX 2.25% which are cool enough again to at least be worn by at-home workers, would have been a better fit.

Write to Laura Forman at [email protected]

The post Slack’s Latest Collaboration Falls Flat on Its Feet appeared first on WSJ.

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