The industry is clearly coming of age. As we trudge boldly into the second decade of the new millennium, many 80s babies are rounding a quarter century or more in business with retailers, athletes and companies alike blowing out the candles and taking the time to celebrate their longevity and evolution as brands. With these landmark quarter centennials has come a wave of nostalgia and an opportunity to look back on the time lines of these icons, their relevance to today’s designs and their implications toward the future of young men’s footwear and apparel.
One of the most recent to join the twenty five year club is Airwalk. During its salad days in the mid nineties, Airwalk was the third “hottest” footwear brand on the market according to the US Footwear Retail Survey topped only by established sporting giants, Nike and Reebok. It’s history since those days, marked poignantly by a 2004 acquisition has been controversial to some, yet its current owners at Collective Licensing International contend the brand is bigger and stronger than ever before. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, Airwalk’s status as one the original pioneers of the actions sports and lifestyle market remains unchanged
In our latest feature, we sit down with Airwalk Director of Product Randy Kleiner to get some official history behind the iconic but sometimes contentious company. Many questions were asked and most were answered.