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What do you get when luxury fashion meets sport?High-end brands such as Kering's Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga are increasingly looking to sneakers for growth, putting them in direct competition with sportswear giants like Nike, Puma and Adidas, and giving rise to ever-more striking and expensive designs.Global sales of sneakers – or trainers – rose 10 percent to 3.5 billion euros last year, outperforming a 7 percent rise in handbags, according to consultancy Bain & Co.Both luxury groups and sports companies are looking to cash in on a booming market.The rise of luxury sneakers is part of the growing influence of casual and streetwear in high-end fashion, where it is now acceptable to team sneakers with a tailored suit."Millennials" – born between the early '80s and mid-90s – already represent a third of the luxury market, according to Bain.Several luxury group executives recently noted the importance of sneakers for their business and the need to step up their game to face the rising competition.
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