IDYSM: Hey Shawn, how are you, where are you, and what’s going on?
Shawn: I am actually on the plane from LA to NYC. Just finished a mini-holiday over the past 4 days after a great tradeshow showcasing our KangaROOSxShane+Shawn Spring 2014 collection in Las Vegas.
IDYSM: So, who are Shane & Shawn, are you sneakerheads, and how did you came to be involved with the sneaker brand Roos?
Shawn: Shane and I do not consider ourselves sneakerheads. We are true/blue entrepreneurs in the fashion business. Our background is in fashion footwear via our brand SHANE+SHAWN, but we’ve designed for companies such as Fila, Converse, adidas, Royal Elastics, Fubu, Nautica, etc via our freelance design company. We began talks with KangaROOS back in 2011, and we decided that when the brand was re-launched in the USA, we wanted to be a part of it. It has been a great collaboration and a great business relationship.
IDYSM: The KangaROOS brand seems to have been in hibernation for some time, occasionally popping it’s head up to resurface with select collab drops from the likes of Patta and Overkill, so does the ‘Revival’ range suggest a re-awakening?
Shawn: Yes! Our collaboration is not a one-off..or just limited to a specific retailer. We just delivered our 2ndcollection at UrbanOutfitters.com, Finish Line, Zappos and some key sneaker shops throughout the USA. We are already working on Spring ’14.
IDYSM: So what’s the plan, how can Roo’s get a jump back into the sneaker game?
(Apologies for the pun).
Shawn: We are doing this by being true to the ROOS heritage. For starters, every shoe HAS to have a pocket. That is what makes us different than any other shoe brand out there. Secondly, the brand was founded as a running shoe by Bob Gamm, so we are putting running shoe elements into every single shoe…from the retro running bottom to the performance materials, even though they are fashion sneakers. Another initiative we have going on is that we have teamed with a great group of emerging DJs around the world to attach the brand to the music leaders around the world. We just launched this in late August, and the buzz has been incredible. It helped us sell out most pairs launched at Urban Outfitters within a week.
IDYSM: I remember when I was a kid the 2 things that got me excited about Roos were the brand’s clean styling and that signature pocket on each shoe – are these elements still relevant today?
Shawn: Shane and I would never make a ROOSxS+S shoe without a pocket. As a matter of fact, most of our new shoes have two pockets. Its all about the private stash. We have also simplified our designs from our 1st season to the next. I think you’ll love all of the shoes we are putting out.
IDYSM: It looks like you’re planning a double headed attack, with vintage signature styles dropping in the Revival range, with more fashion forward models being released alongside them, what’s the idea behind this?
Shawn: Even though we are staying true to the heritage, the market continues to change as far as what is on trent and what the sneaker head kid is buying. We are always looking to achieve having a great balance of vintage mixed with current trends….such as camo…it still is going strong, so you’ll see it in the collection.
IDYSM: The sneaker game has changed a lot since the Roos heydays of the 80’s. Where is the landscape for shoes at right now, and is it better or worse than it was back in the day?
Shawn: I think it is better. The sneaker culture used to be very niche..where now, you can’t look through any fashion magazine or runway show without seeing some sort of sneaker influence…just look at the sneaker wedge..luxury brands are selling them at $1k +. It is appropriate to wear suits with sneakers now..Many of the boundaries that existed in the 80’s no longer exist so there is a bigger market for brands like ours.
IDYSM: What influences you?, and how do you plan to bring these influences into Roos?
Shawn: We are influenced by everything. There is nothing we do that we cannot find something that will inspire us in some way. We travel a lot and read a lot, so we are always downloading images into our brains and taking notes to help shape our designs and brand aesthetic and marketing.
IDYSM: What does the future hold for you and Roos?
Shawn: We are looking to grow more with Urban Outfitters and more key sneaker shops. We are also starting to gain interest overseas, as it looks like we’ll be launching in the Phillipines soon. Eventually, we’d like to launch more accessories and apparel, but now we are focusing on making ROOS a strong player in the lifestyle sneaker market for years to come.
IDYSM: I always like to end my interviews with this question…what’s on your feet right now?
Shawn: Easy. Black & white KangaROOSxShane+Shawn REVIVAL. 😀