In Sneaker Freaker Issue 13, there was a cute article from Mafia about the release of the L.A. Gear Kid Fireball. Now two heads from Amsterdam take the opportunity to go the release party, to check out for themselves how the girls from Club Zonder Filter bring some L.A. vibe to the Dutch Capital. Check out the pictures and interview with the girls from CZF and Lee from Patta. Submitted exclusively by Dutch Sneaker Freaker's Japo and Dennis.
INTERVIEW :: CLUB ZONDER FILTER
So how was the party? Were you able to enjoy yourselves?
We where dead tired with all the preparations. We organized the party ourselves which was hard because there were a lot of people we knew at the party. They all wanted to talk to us! But we’re used to that because we often work at places where a lot of people we know are partying. But when we got the actual shoe from the people at L.A. Gear, with the official box and with the L.A. Gear wrapping paper, it reminded us of how special this project was. We unfortunately didn't get a pair in our own size as yet so we had to cope with samples. Our night couldn’t have been any better.
You did all of the decorations yourselves?
The location was going to close down the next day for rebuilding, so Lexflex81 and BlazinBrommer took on the walls with some dope graff and the balloons we filled up ourselves.
The cheerleading show was rad. Why was there no presentation of the shoe or even a speech from you guys?
Sometimes it’s not about words but more about doing. We believed we did that. And besides, who really wants to hear another boring speech. We wanted to present the L.A.Gears in a particular manner and we found that the cheerleaders were very appropriate. So I really hope that all cheerleaders will rock L.A. Gears from now on.
How did the people react at the party and to the shoe?
This shoe really stands out! A lot of people found the Fireball very beautiful and some found it ugly, but either way you hate it or you love it! We agree with Guillaume of Patta. When he recommended us to take this shoe on he said 'this is a real killer shoe!’ As far as the party was concerned, the free shots of Southern Comfort, which were in fact intended for the whole night (and we calculated a lot!), ran out in two hours. Need I say more?!
What’s the story behind the bubblegum?
A lot of the shoes have got candy-like names; L.A. Gear is also candy-like with all the kitschy details like the laces made of lace and of course the little diamantes. They are actual eye candy!! We love Bubblicious bubblegum and thought that some bubblegum-chewing girls would fit the L.A. Gear theme.
How is the Fireball selling?
There was a small line. That was one thing we had hoped for but never would have expected. We're waiting for an answer from Patta if there are any left, but some sizes are already sold out. But what it’s really all about is the response we get through our Hyves page (Dutch like Myspace). We have had some really happy messages from girls who have bought them and even pictures of girls who have been spotted in a pair!
And the response from foreign countries?
I think Colette will start selling them this week. Five years ago, when I was still in school, I thought of Colette as a store that was setting an example. So it’s really a dream come true to see a product you worked so closely on in such a store! We’re almost planning a trip to go to Paris, to go and scream in front of the store!
What has been L.A. Gear's response to the release?
Very positive! We believe the feeling we have created around this brand matches with the feeling they wanted. And that this is worthy enough for the comeback of L.A.Gear!
And to round it all up, when can we expect the next exclusive Club Zonder Filter sneaker?
We’re not sure there will be one; we do not want to be labeled as ‘the shoe girls'.
INTERVIEW :: LEE AT PATTA
You've released yet another 'exclusive' sneaker at the Patta store. You must be feeling proud or are you getting used to it?
We never get 'used to it' as every release stands on its own and is unique in its own way. From collaborating with favourite brands all the way down to selling a pair of 'exclusive' shoes in the store, we always take pride in everything we do and don't take things for granted.
So L.A. Gear is making a comeback, which is pretty sweet in our opinion. The girls from CZF contacted you to help them. Did you have any influence on the look of the shoe or are you only handling the distribution part?
Josine and Kristel from Club Zonder Filter definitely deserve most, if not, all the credit. They put in a lot of hard work, all the way from getting L.A. Gear back out, down to the design of the Stardust Kid-Fireball. We only guided them along the way, helping out with contacts, distribution, marketing, promotion and such, as we are a little more experienced in those fields.
How do you think the shoe turned out? Are there any things you would have done different?
Honestly, I didn't know what to expect at first, but I believe the shoes turned out really well. The girls managed to give the Stardust a fresh and fashionable feel without losing the 'so tacky it's cool' characteristics that made people want to own a pair back in the day. Plus, I'm a huge fan of tonal uppers, so I think they got it spot on. It’s definitely a good shoe to reintroduce the brand with.
I spent a whole day on lacing my checkerboard on my Fireballs. How do you remember L.A. Gear? Did you ever own a pair of L.A. Gears yourself?
I remember at one point L.A. Gear kind of dominated the streets and schoolyards around my way in Amsterdam. However, I never owned a pair myself as I was heavily into skateboarding and skate shoes at the time. Above all, I always thought L.A. Gears were for girls, even though there were many guys endorsed by the brand.
How about that retro trend that has been going on for some years now. It looks like everybody longs for the '80s and ‘90s. Do you think designers are burned out or are we just reliving history?
A bit of both. Some people are genuinely into it to re-capture, relive and enjoy the feel and characteristics of those times for nostalgic reasons. Some might be into it purely for the aesthetics and others might just be into it to be 'down'. Either which way, it's always easier to reach back to something familiar, something that's already known and accepted than reinventing the wheel.
L.A. Gear is coming out with women & men's OG styles this fall. Is this release just a marketing stunt to get brand L.A. Gear back on the map?
Of course it is, even though I wouldn't necessarily call it a marketing stunt. In this day and age it definitely helps to use such strategies and marketing tactics to come out strong and stand out. After all they will be available at world-renowned boutiques such as Solebox, Sneakersnstuff, 24 Kilates and Colette who have a massive influence on fashion and streetwear.
Thanks to Japo and Dennis for the exclusive interviews, coverage and images!