Like in 2014, the fashion-oriented segment of the branded casual footwear market performed better than the comfort-oriented segment in 2015, according to an annual survey that we published in Shoe Intelligence last week. With an overall estimated 8.2 percent increase in terms of U.S. dollars to $11.5 billion, the fashion casual market performed in some ways better than the branded athletic footwear market, which grew by 6.3 percent, as we have already reported, or the rugged outdoor footwear market, which rose by 1.9 percent, as shown elsewhere in this issue. Comparatively, the comfort or lifestyle casual footwear market declined by 7.7 percent to $11.0 billion in terms of dollars, although it remained slightly positive in terms of local currencies. The strong appreciation of the U.S. dollar, which grew by nearly 20 percent against the euro and by nearly 8 percent against the British pound last year, affected our calculations more than in previous years. It caused the major brands to grow outside the U.S. by only 7.2 percent in the fashion segment and to decline by 11.2 percent in the comfort/lifestyle segment. Similar trends occurred in athletic and rugged outdoor footwear.. Skechers' strong growth in the U.S. and abroad helped the fashion casual footwear market to grow more than any other sector. The fashion casual market would have risen by only 1.9 percent in 2015, declining by 0.1 percent outside the U.S., if we had not included Skechers into the chart. The brand is also featured in the athletic footwear chart.