CATEGORY: SKATE FOOTWEAR SS17
INTERVIEWEE: MATT WONG
How do you see the overall market situation in skate footwear right now?
The overall skate footwear market in Europe seems pretty challenging. There’s two big brands pushing hard, and unfortunately a couple of smaller brands have had to close shop. In these tough conditions it means you have to be on your game in terms of building the best product possible and supporting the retailers as much as you can.
What are the main price points for a) basic and b)technical shoes in Europe right now?
Basic around 60-70 Euros. Tech from around 75 Euros upwards.
What are the main themes and inspirations for your brand’s SS2017 skateboard footwear collection?
The main emphasis for our Spring 2017 range is about functional style and heritage. We recently celebrated the 30 year anniversary of our company with the release of a coffee table book called “Unemployable” and for three of our new models we’ve drawn inspiration from our past but revamped them for the current times while looking forward.
It seems that technology is becoming an increasing focus in skate footwear lately. Do you see a trend?
Technology has always played a key role in sports footwear across all sports and continues to progress rapidly. The main technology trends we find in skate footwear generally relates to cushioning, fit and durability.
Speaking of technologies, what are you offering – how have materials and technologies developed for the upcoming season?
Footbeds with improved cushioning and support. Constructions that provide a better fit. Sometimes it’s a process or construction technique which may not even be noticed by the end customer on a conscious level but we implement it to deliver better product that we know will benefit everyone who wears our shoes. For instance, we are increasingly using EVA and open cell foam lasting boards across various models. In using these materials in place of fibre boards as traditionally used, we make the shoe more comfortable, lighter in weight, and provide additional cushioning and flexibility.
With the Dart Lyt, the upper is constructed using a more advanced technique which joins the upper and sole in a more integrated way providing a better and more customised fit than regular construction, making it extremely comfortable. The upper is made from micro fibre, which is lightweight and soft, yet strong and features perforations for breathability.
Weight reduction is another area we’ve been focused on. We have a range of extra lightweight midsoles and footbeds.
On the other side of the range is David Gonzalez’s Eagle SG, which is a tough high performance skate shoe with a deep cushioning drop-in PU footbed (to suit his high impact style of skating), and a super durable cupsole that we developed with David for enhanced support and flex.
What are the main colour stories for SS2017? How about prints and patterns?
In our colour palette and materials, we’ve been inspired by nature. Earth tones appear throughout our FW collection and tactile finishes which portray a human touch.
Please point out the two key products in your collection that retailers HAVE to keep on their radar.
Our new vulcanised skate shoe, Mojo Legacy is a new model which was inspired by the Mojo from our back catalog. It’s a straight up, no nonsense skate shoe, with an upper made for skateboarding with an extended toe cap and forefoot overlay to protect the toes, and features raised toe and heel bumpers for better durability.
Another new model for Spring 17 is the CT-IV Lyt. It’s a modern interpretation of our all-time classic, but with a more sporty approach, built for casual wear.