Supra celebrates 10-year anniversary, details Spring 2017 launches
It is “Decade X” for Supra this year. The California-based brand is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a series of commemorative sneakers that will lead into a critical spring 2017 season.
On deck are six new sneaker styles that will complement Supra’s core collection. The Skytop V, Shifter, Vaider, Method, Flow Run and Ineto are all designed with a skate focus and are intended to bridge the gap between the skate and casual lifestyles.
The Spring 2017 collection features athletic components such as an EVA midsole, cushioning technologies, and skate-specific upper designs, but they each have their own unique attributes like the Flow Run’s trainer design and the Method’s neoprene construction.
“Right before I started, our iconic styles had been in the market for a long time and there really hadn’t been any new styles that Supra released,” said Supra Brand President Cape Capener. “We knew that we needed innovation and we needed it fast.”
Cape joined the Supra brand in 2015 after it was acquired by E-Land through K-Swiss. The industry vet joined Supra after serving as Chief Brand Officer of Sequential Brands overseeing And1, Avia and other brands. He started his career in basketball serving as Global Director at Reebok and Head of Basketball at Adidas.
“I’ve always felt that there were strong similarities between skate and basketball just in the quality of music, street, art, fashion, sport and how all of those things mix. The performance and technical aspect of basketball shoes are comparable with skate—you want some energy absorption, being able to take a hard hit, and land awkwardly, but you also want good court feel in a basketball shoe so much as you want good board feel in skate. The worlds collide.”
Basketball sneakers are almost synonymous with celebrities nowadays, which goes back to the introduction of Jordan Brand and its effect on pop culture and youth culture. Supra has had a similar trajectory in the skate world with co-founders and professional skateboarders Chad Muska and Erik Ellington doubling as the faces of the brand, and with collaborations with rapper Lil Wayne and DJ Steve Aoki.
In just 10 years, Supra matched up with Vans and Element, as well as Nike and Adidas’ skateboard sneaker ranges. The brand currently has over 37 distributors worldwide, and 80% of its collection is global, not to mention E-Land has over 7,000 retail stores and over 10,000 retail outlets in the Asia/Pacific region, which is a point of growth for Supra.
“We have a big plan to open a number of stores in the Asia/Pacific,” said Capener. “In the last two and a half years, KSwiss and Paladium opened hundreds of doors in China and Korea, so we think that the retail footprint will come over to Supra as well especially with the new product. We’re launching apparel in Spring ‘17 so that’ll help fill our doors. We wanted to introduce the brand to more people, and by doing apparel we felt we could expand our distribution and be more visible. We knew it would be such a big play in Asia/Pacific.”
The Supra team riders inspire the new apparel line. The collection is described as classically street and consists of cut-and-sew football and soccer jerseys that the skate team would wear after a skate session. Supra also offers its KR3W apparel line that is targeted to skaters, but it is launching the Supra apparel to reach a broader audience. The footwear brand partnered with southern California-based Anthony Yamamoto (AY) to develop the collection.
Supra was present at the Agenda trade show to sell its Spring 2017 collection, but it never overlooked its anniversary year. Beginning in August, the brand will launch the first of its Decade X commemorative Skytop series. The Decade X Skytop I sneaker, which will launch first, features Chad Muska’s artwork printed to showcase the brand’s 10-year history. In September, the Skytop II will launch, followed by the Skytop III in October and the Skytop IV in November.
The global lifestyle brand also opened a pop up shop on Melrose in Fairfax to celebrate the milestone. “It’s open through the summer, and because of Decade X we’re hoping to keep it throughout the year and make a call to keep it going,” said Capener. The pop up doubles as an art gallery and will feature art collaborations with local Los Angeles-based artists and friends of the brand.
To close out the year, Supra will launch a collaboration footwear collection with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie. The three-sneaker collection is comprised of the Skytop III, Scissor and Stacks II sneaker featuring materials inspired by the heroes of the movie. The Assassin’s Creed Pack will launch in December and will precede the movie’s release on December 21.
“We see the history of Supra with such respect because it redefined how skate can be interpreted,” said Capener. “It can’t just be foot into a box—it transcended skate in the sense of being able to go and be influential in fashion and in lifestyle, and I feel that by staying true to those roots that the future is really bright.”
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