Gloria’s and Sneaker Freaker go way back. They actually threw us a massive launch party for Issue 6 at their store in Brick Lane, London. We’ve been amazed at their progress throughout their 5 years in business and it’s to their credit that they don’t have a website, rarely advertise and prefer to lace their store in harder to find classics from Europe, Japan and abroad. We were dead lucky to get an interview, to discuss their newest venture with DC and also look to the future...
Hey Guys, we haven’t heard much from you guys since we had our Issue launch at Gloria’s in 2007, what’s good in East London town?
Pendeleton Dave, Arcola Street Mangal, Fixed Gear London, early nights and early mornings.
Lets jump straight into it and talk about your collaboration with DC shoes. How did that come about?
It came about through the good will of our close friend Andy Holmes who was the previous manager here at Gloria’s and has now gone on to work for DC on certain special projects of which this was one. Working with someone who understands you makes the process of getting from A-B fun instead of laborious…and we definitely had fun putting this together.
What was the one core element that drew you to DC to collaborate on a sneaker with?
The fact that they are a good company to work with and they had someone who was fighting our corner and behind our ideas. It was smooth transition from the initial sketches right through the sampling stage and beyond. Now it’s just down to the public to represent by having a pair on their feet all summer long!
Tell us about some of the fresh details on the shoe and how you came to narrow down the colours and materials used in the sneaker.
Our first ideas for the shoe were very different to what it looks like now (more so in colour than materials). Initially it was a case of emptying our head of ideas ands then discarding most of them. There’s no way you’re going to come up with your perfect shoe at your first attempt and I think it’s important to remember not to be too precious about what you are producing. I mean, we wanted to use sharkskin and stingray initially and have this aquatic theme but it didn’t materialize. No big deal though….there’s always another day and another approach!
You guys seemed to utilize a lot of different materials for the Gatsby shoe, with patent, perforated, suede and webbed leathers. How do all the materials compliment each other to create such a subtle silhouette, without over powering the consumer?
The idea was to create something that had a variety of textural qualities while maintaining a smooth aesthetic. So many shoes have come out in the last couple of years that have had different coloured and textured panels but just throwing a bunch of different shit on a shoe for the sake of it doesn’t always work. We wanted to be more subtle in our approach to constructing something that had a lot of work but looks simple. I guess it’s the less is more approach!
The shoe pops from the inside out; with the colour and logo imbedded on the shoe inner while the shell of the shoe is very discreet and neutral. Was this intentional?
Yeah definitely, I think you can really accentuate colour when it’s against a neutral backdrop. Imagine if you were wearing all black one day…black hat, hair, shirt, trousers and shoes. If the only visible bit of colour was a red pair of socks and your trousers were a little short then all you would focus on is the red. It doesn’t make the red any more red or the black, black. All it does is focus your attention on a specific point. This is something I hope we have achieved with our shoe. And I just love people looking at that red outsole when you’re walking down the street!
Who is responsible for the artwork on the shoe inner and the shoe box? Can you tell us a bit about the artist and how you came to use their work for the collaboration?
The artist who worked on the foot beds and the box is a guy called ‘Dr.Who?’ aka Lazer Comodore aka Patrick Giner. A man of many monikers and a man of many talents. He’s actually more of a photographer than he is an illustrator but the very free and loose style that he applies to his illustrations seemed perfect to use on the Gloria s Gatsby.
We were fortunate to visit Gloria's for the Sneaker Freaker Issue 6 launch party. How does the shoe represent Gloria’s as a store?
I’m not sure that it does. I could say that it’s a fresh, new exciting concept and the use of different materials is a reflection of our varied tastes and cultures but that would just be a bunch of pretentious bullshit. Truth is we took a shoe that we liked (The Gatsby), played around with it and got it looking like how we imagined it to be!
When will the Gatsby be releasing and will it only be available at Gloria’s or is there a worldwide release?
The Glorias Gatsby is out at the end of June. Midsummer madness pressure! We’re proud of this shoe and we want it be seen and worn by heads worldwide. That’s a very round the houses way of saying that it’s a worldwide release. Look out for a very limited tee shirt to accompany the release courtesy of Dr.Who.
What’s up next for Gloria’s?
We’ve been working very closely with Vans this year and have a number of projects lined up including a fixed gear Era and a fixed gear bike. We are also 5 years old in December so there’s a series of projects lined up to co-incide with this. Of course there’ll be a party but look out for an exhibition and possibly a book too. Watch this space…
Thanks to Pete, Pat and Steve from Glorias...