You think California, you think Vans. Think Long Beach and the word Ferris Bueller comes to mind. But a very close second to that thought is the sneaker store known righteously as Proper. With several awesome collabs already under their belt, we chased down Mr Tristan Caruso, the owner of Proper (and a most luxurious ginger beard) on the eve of the release of their latest project, a triple play for Vans that pays homage to the nauticalness of the local area. Aye, aye skipper!
Hey Tristan, how’s Long Beach?
Long Beach is good, better than its ever been. Development is increasing at an alarming rate, which in turn means there are even more people moving here. There seems to be an ever-increasing awareness of the city, so it’s good.
You’ve been around for five years and first got our attention with the ASICS GTII back in 2004, how many other collabs have you had a hand in?
Early on we were lucky to work with Asics on the GT II and following its release we worked closely with them on the re-introduction of the Gel Lyte III which has turned out to be quite popular for them on an international level. In 2004 we developed three versions of the GTIII which were ultimately never released due to ‘material execution’ issues. Last winter we did a set of three Vans and we’re working on another set of six for this upcoming holiday season. We have a couple of other projects that are by and large complete for next year and we also have our hands in helping some of the brands we carry in developing product for their own lines that never carry our name. All in all I’d say we’ve worked on somewhere in the vicinity of around 20 different shoes...