GOLA: CELEBRATING 110 YEARS OF RICH SNEAKER HERITAGE

May 08, 2015 3:42 PM

110 years is a long time by anyone’s standards, but for a sneaker brand’s existence, it’s virtually unheard of. That is of course with the exception of U.K. label Gola, producer of athletics-inspired, fashionista-approved footwear and bags. Through a commitment to quality, dedication to its storied history and a keen understanding of where it fits in the marketplace, Gola has been able not only to withstand the test of time, but also to grow consistently while remaining true to its treasured heritage.

May 22nd of this year marks the big 110th, and to celebrate, Gola will be hosting a pop-up at world-renowned luxury retailer Fred Segal’s Santa Monica location. The sneakers can already be found at high-end shopping destinations like Nordstrom, but the Segal collaboration marks yet another step for the brand’s ever-growing popularity.

In a recent chat with Gola CEO Tony Evans, I brought up the unique niche that his brand occupies. I expressed to him that when I see someone rocking a pair of his trainers, I know that they’re into fashion, but that they didn’t empty their bank account on the purchase; it’s a strange but awesome dynamic. The label isn’t nearly as ubiquitous as some of the top sneaker brands in the U.S., but that’s allowed it to retain a boutique appeal crucial to attracting those who appreciate exclusivity.

With the way things are going, these slick sneakers are set to make waves in the industry for yet another 110 years. Check out some Gola history and upcoming special editions above, and read Twelv’s exclusive interview with the brand’s CEO, Tony Evans, below.

 

 

Jason Greenspan:  Gola’s 110th anniversary is coming up on May 22nd. What do you think has led to the brand’s enduring success?

Tony Evans:  I think that we’re very privileged that the brand has a long heritage and back catalogue that we can call upon. We’re always looking at the iconic styles that we’ve developed over the years for footwear and bags, and making sure that they’re updated and relevant in today’s market. But I suppose it’s really the heritage that a lot of brands these days don’t have, especially going that far back.

  

JG:  What are Gola’s best-sellers in the American market right now?

TE:  Probably the number one seller over the years has been the Harrier. And we’ve done it in so many different materials and colorways. I mean, we’ve done literally hundreds of colorways and we continue to bring back relevant versions of that shoe. Wherever we go around the world the name Harrier seems to be synonymous with Gola. And Comet is particularly popular as well.

  

JG:  The Hibiscus collection is vibrant, evocative, and just all around awesome. Where did the idea for the retro floral pattern come from? What was the inspiration?

TE:  It’s really sort of an L.A. look combined with our classic silhouette. We saw this hibiscus print and thought that it would be very strong for the season. We started working on it about 15 months ago, and the response has been phenomenal so far. But once again, it’s about taking classic styles and combining them with up-to-date looks.

 

JG:  The brand isn’t as ubiquitous as some other sneaker brands in the U.S., but that gives it a boutique, in-the-know vibe. Is that something that you’d like to preserve? Or would you like to have a larger presence in the market? 

TE:  Specifically in the U.S., we’re built on the platform of boutique appeal. Obviously we’d like to increase sales, but that will only work hand-in-hand with the right distribution. There are a number of cool retailers that we’d like to work with out there that we have dialogue with, but rather than going to the wrong distribution channel and turning certain people off, we’d rather stay true to our values.

 

JG:  And even with its boutique vibe, the price point has remained appealing. Is that difficult to maintain? 

TE:  With anything in this space, it’s a combination of having a cool product, the right distribution and the right price point. If we had two of the three, it wouldn’t work. We work very hard talking to our colleagues in the U.S. to develop an appropriate price and I think we’re seeing great results. We haven’t got aspirations of grandeur in this area.

 

JG:  So to celebrate the 110th, Gola will be setting up a pop-up shop at Fred Segal in Santa Monica. What can we expect? Any special surprises? 

TE:  Within our museum archives over here, we’ve got a number of pieces that go back many years. We’re looking into displaying some of these historical products to give people insight into the brand’s heritage.It’s cool because you forget how heavy some of these old items are. Everything nowadays is light, and you wonder how people put some of these older shoes on their feet (laughs).

  

JG:  Fred Segal is synonymous with careful curation and luxury. A collaboration with the retailer is in and of itself a testament to Gola’s status. How big is this for the company?

TE: It’s a very big deal. We’re honored to be invited into their Santa Monica store. There’s definitely a global elite of fashion retailers, and I’d certainly consider Fred Segal to be part of that group. 

 

JG:  Will there be any wild parties in celebration of the anniversary over at Gola headquarters?

TE: (Laughs) We actually had a huge party for the 100th. I mean, we could have a party every five years, but the hundredth was a really big to do. We had people like the Spice Girls and the guys from Oasis; it was great. Other than that though, there aren’t going to be any wild parties unfortunately. But I think that when you’re involved with a brand with this kind of heritage, you feel lucky to be the custodian that keeps watch for the period of your involvement, and that’s really important.

 

 

INTERVIEWED & WRITTEN BY: JASON GREENSPAN

PHOTO CREDIT: GOLA

 

 

related posts

Roberto Cavalli S/S2018 Campaign

The first Spring/Summer Roberto Cavalli campaign developed under the creative direction of former menswear designer, Paul Surridge, proves to be a delivery on his promise to firmly...

January 11, 2018 4:00 PM  |  Fashion
Photo: Yurika Morimitsu.

TWELV Magazine "Blonde Sashimi from Planet TWELV" Party @BETTER DAYS

To bring in the holidays and to bid farewell to the flocks of New Yorkers fleeing the icy city, TWELV held its illustrious party "BLONDE SASHIMI FROM PLANET TWELV" at the renamed-but-not-forgotten...

December 12, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Helmut Lang NYC Taxi Cab Campaign & Capsule Collection

This year has been a transformative period for Helmut Lang, a brand so inextricably tied with its enigmatic founder who left his label in 2005 and whose influence still manifests in...

December 06, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

Chanel BoyFriend Watch Celebration at the #CocoClub

Chanel's latest Instagram-geared affair celebrated their BoyFriend watch collection, a line of angular, masculine watches for women.

November 13, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
The Cover of "Dresses to Dream About" Photo: Brad Walsh

Christian Siriano's "Dresses to Dream About" Celebrates a Decade of Work

Christian Siriano's decade of empowering women through his epononymous label launched in 2008 is now being celebrated in the designer's first coffee table book entitled Dresses to Dream About...

November 10, 2017 5:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video still from "STEFFI"

Roberto Cavalli X TWELV Fashion Video "Steffi"

TWELV Roberto Cavalli Video Story "STEFFI"

November 08, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Halloween 2017 Party @Better Days

TWELV Magazine's annual Halloween party was on the cutting edge of horror haute couture with costumed guests attending as their alter egos for the night.

October 30, 2017 6:00 PM  |  Fashion
Tetra Neomatik 39

Nomos Glashütte Debuts "At Work" Collection

Luxury German watchmaker Nomos Glashütte has been in the market for 25 years now, but it didn’t take...

October 30, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video Still from "The Gate"

Björk Wears a Custom Gucci Masterpiece in "The Gate"

The genius of Björk, if we can condense it, is her ability to enable the human voice to express in sound what cannot be put into words.

October 12, 2017 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Enisa Exclusive Interview/Fashion Story "Freedom"

ENISA Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Freedom" is now available!

October 06, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

MIU MIU S/S18 PFW READY-TO-WEAR

While there were no show stopping, jaw dropping surprises among the 44 looks presented by Miuccia Prada for Miu Miu's Spring/Summer 2018 collection, it was a solid representation of the brand's...
October 06, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Stella McCartney S/S18 PFW Ready-to-Wear

Stella McCartney's longstanding commitment to maintain a business model with environmental impact in mind was employed...

October 03, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Roberto Cavalli MFW S/S18 Ready-to-Wear

With the Spring/Summer 2018 shows of Milan Fashion Week now in the rearview mirror of fashion month, we can reflect on some of the visions thatpresent the most radical new creative...

October 02, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

All:One, the Skate Brand Promoting Inclusivity

The hyper-connected, instantly gratifying world of social media has given people a platform to express their viewpoints and make their voices heard.

September 28, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

MARC JACOBS NYFW S/S18 READY-TO-WEAR

"The future is uncertain and the end is always near" sang Jim Morrison in the song "Roadhouse Blues," and if there is any truth to the rumors that have been swirling all summer, this...

September 15, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Bruce Weber Photographs Frame Denim

The latest collection from Frame Denim comes like a soft ripple, wending and spreading itself through the fashion world in an organic wave.

September 15, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Spencer Ludwig, Nina Agdal, Tyson Ritter

Thursday Boot Company NYFW S/S18 Launch Party

Comfort, performance and style are seldom co-habitants when it comes to footwear.

September 14, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

KIMIKO EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / Fashion story

KIMIKO Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Kimiko" is now available!

September 14, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

Namilia NYFW S/S18 Ready-to-Wear

Berlin-based design duo Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl have stuck to their guns and carved out a niche for their relatively young label ...

September 14, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Video Still from TWELV's "Freedom" by Enisa

"Freedom" Enisa x TWELV VIDEO

“FREEDOM" ENISA x TWELV video is now available!

 

September 08, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine NYFW SS18 Party @Better Days

To celebrate the anxiously awaited September moment– New York Fashion Week SS18– TWELV Magazine held it's biannual NYFW party at "Better Days," the newly reopened Lower East Side location...

September 08, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Elodie Yung EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / FASHION STORY "Elodie Yung"

Elodie Yung Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Elodie Yung" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

September 07, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion
Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent © DR

The Legacy of Yves Saint Laurent to be Honored at New Marrakech Museum

Yves Saint Laurent is not the first to call Morocco muse, but the legacy of his interweaving the North African nation’s vibrant aesthetic into European fashion continues to this day,...

September 02, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Behind the Scenes Video

"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND"  behind the scene video is now available! 

View the video on the right and check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 31, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

FASHION STORY “CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 25, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Celebrates Hissa/CHAMA's Birthday @Public Hotel

TWELV had the pleasure of celebrating the birthday of Editor-in-Chief Hissa/CHAMA Igarashi at the Public Arts space...

August 24, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Ane Amour"

FASHION STORY “Ane Amour" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 21, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
TM & © 2017 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks are properties owned by CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Gucci F/W2017 Collection Explores Strange New Worlds

Boldly going where no fashion house has gone before, Gucci launches its latest Fall/Winter 2017 collection with a full-on...

August 14, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Giuseppe Zanotti X Jennifer Lopez Second Collaboration

After a successful first collaboration, Italian luxury footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti and ...

August 04, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Party "Summer Soirée" @Kola House

As the Men's New York Fashion Week came to a close, TWELV hosted a party for everyone in need of an unwind during this blistering summer.

August 01, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Dior F/W2017 Haute Couture Collection

It's impossible to overestimate the impact of Christian Dior's first collection when it was shown in Paris in 1947.

July 31, 2017 8:00 AM  |  Fashion

Louis Vuitton Recruits Jaden Smith & Sophie Turner for Series 7

Unveiled earlier this month, Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2017-2018 campaign continues to impress as the brand remains...

July 27, 2017 8:00 AM  |  Fashion

Miu Miu F/W2017 Campaign Starring Kate Moss and the Aboah Sisters

The Miu Miu Girl has always been bolder and sexier than her patrician elder sister, the Prada Girl.

July 25, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

Just Cavalli F/W2017 Collection

In releasing its latest campaign, Just Cavalli has teamed up with...

July 24, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

René Caovilla F/W2017 COLLECTION

Italian designer René Caovilla has tapped into a new kind of sensual feminine energy with the launch of...

July 18, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲