Footwear has always been a passion of mine. Growing up in Australia, I have fond memories of my grandma taking me to Footlocker to get my first pair of sneakers when I was 5 years old. I still remember them. They were a black pair of Nike Flights circa 1991. I remember wearing them to school for the first time and felt on top of the world. I love the feeling that a great pair of sneakers gives you. I would always look at what shoes people were wearing, even at 5, and to me I finally had the shoes I wanted. It's funny to see my 5 year old son have a similar passion and excitement of his own with footwear today.
My grandma used to call me Imelda Marcos because of how many shoes I had and how into shoes I was growing up. I obviously didn't know who that was when I was a kid, and I think I only looked up who it was more recently. I didn't even know that was a woman. I just thought of it as someone who had a passion for footwear like I did and that sounded good to me, and it still does.
Growing up playing rugby, I applied this same passion to the football boots that I wore, and I always had multiple pairs. Some of my teammates would make fun of how many pairs I had, but for me it was a passion. I spent my spare time at the local sports store at the mall checking out the latest boots. I could spend hours there. I would have the David Beckham Adidas Predators mostly and the Nike Total 90s. But I was more Adidas at this point of my life and a huge David Beckham fan, so to get a shoe with Adidas, that ended up on an NBA court no less, was more than a dream come true.
I first got into making footwear back in 2015. After a trip to Paris for Fashion Week and showing at Tranoi trade show with my wife Jenny, who was pregnant at the time with Cooper, we hopped on a flight to Milan. When we got there, we rented a car and drove all the way to the other side of the country to a little port town called Ancona. I immediately fell in love with Italy. The food was amazing and the people very friendly, and they had the same passion for footwear that I did. At the time, I had no idea how to start or where to start when designing a shoe. But I jumped into it and we made some samples from some rough sketches I had jotted in my sketch book. From that came the High Top Roamer. A timeless style that is as relevant today as it was back in 2015 when we sampled it.
Fast forward to today and that passion burns brighter than ever. I usually choose my own shoes over other shoes in my closet. My go-to shoes are the Chelsea Roamers and the Velcro Panel Runners. I feel like we have come a long way footwear-wise, and the collection is now well-rounded and has a point of view in-line with the luxury sportswear brand that we have developed into since that first trip to Italy back in 2015.