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

AUBREY PEEPLES Exclusive INTERVIEW / FASHION STORY "GOOD & BAD GIRL"

AUBREY PEEPLES EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / FASHION STORY "GOOD & BAD GIRL" is now updated!

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial

May 20, 2015 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

PRADA PRE-FALL AD CAMPAIGN: VAMPIRE CHIC

In true Prada fashion, the brand’s latest ad campaign poses questions about gender and what the sexes share with each other, or choose not to.

May 17, 2015 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO SS15 AD CAMPAIGN: AN ICY COOL TAKE ON SPRING

Spring collections are expected to contain friendly florals and playful, evocative colors. Christian Siriano, however, has a different idea about how to usher in the warm weather.

May 11, 2015 4:02 PM  |  Fashion

GOLA: CELEBRATING 110 YEARS OF RICH SNEAKER HERITAGE

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.

May 08, 2015 3:42 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Candy Store Rock by Bregje Heinen"

Exclusive Fashion Story "Candy Store Rock by Bregje Heinen" is now updated!

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial

May 07, 2015 1:00 PM  |  Fashion
Photograph by Moeka Nakamura

TWELV MAGAZINE HAPPY SPRING PARTY @ Chloe 81

Spring has finally sprung here in NYC! Winter is starting to feel like a distant memory as the days are finally getting brighter and warmer.

May 06, 2015 4:17 PM  |  Fashion

MARCHESA SPRING 2016: TIMELESS ELEGANCE

Marchesa is known for classically feminine designs and complex yet tastefully understated details.

April 28, 2015 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Madonna's Ghosttown Custom Made Wardrobe by Chrome Hearts

The apocalypse is here.  Fire is burning through the streets, nobody to be found at first glance, but wait—a flawless figure is surviving with grace— B***h, she’s Madonna.

April 27, 2015 3:07 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Love Me Two Times"

Exclusive Fashion Story "Love Me Two Times" is now updated!

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial

April 10, 2015 5:00 PM  |  Fashion

SMELL GREAT THIS SPRING VIA ISSEY MIYAKE

Spring is just around the corner.  And as an ode to the impending thaw and arrival of warmer weather, storied designer Issey Miyake has released a brand new limited edition fragrance.  Entitled...

March 26, 2015 3:11 PM  |  Fashion

THE GUMMY BEAR BED

TWELV MAGAZINE X CRAIGS BED Fashion Story "THE GUMMY BEAR BED" is available!

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial

March 26, 2015 1:00 PM  |  Fashion

CHANEL F/W2015 READY-TO-WEAR

Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week offering probably made its attendees really hungry.

March 17, 2015 3:20 PM  |  Fashion

CHRISTIAN DIOR 2015 READY-TO-WEAR

Fashion can be innovative, it can make a statement, it can capture the sentiment of an era, or it can just be downright cool. Dior’s Fall 2015 collection is most certainly the latter.

March 16, 2015 5:10 PM  |  Fashion

MIU MIU F/W2015 READY-TO-WEAR

Miuccia Prada’s Paris Fashion Week offering was an exercise in pattern awareness.

March 11, 2015 5:48 PM  |  Fashion

SAINT LAURENT F/W2015 "PUNK ROCK PARADISE"

At first glance, I couldn’t help but think that every model in the Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2015 exhibition looked like Courtney Love during her Hole days.  Exaggerated jet-black eyeliner and...

March 09, 2015 1:42 PM  |  Fashion

COMME DES GARÇONS F/W2015 READY-TO-WEAR

In stark contrast to Rei Kawakubo’s unsettlingly beautiful blood-red Spring collection, the designer’s Fall offering was decidedly lugubrious in solemn black and white.

March 07, 2015 2:28 PM  |  Fashion

Roberto Cavalli F/W2015 READY-TO-WEAR

Italian fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli presented his Fall/Winter 2015 collection during Milan fashion week.

March 05, 2015 2:18 PM  |  Fashion

PRADA F/W2015 READY-TO-WEAR

If an alien race from the future designed a human clothing line and had only the show Mad Men to use for a reference, the results would probably be akin to Prada’s AW15 collection. ...

February 28, 2015 4:07 PM  |  Fashion

Dior defies gravity in Spring/ Summer 2015 campaign

Christian Dior took an innovative stance in the spring-summer 2015 campaign.

February 27, 2015 5:36 PM  |  Fashion

BURBERRY PRORSUM F/W2015 Ready-to-Wear

Prorsum literally means “forward” in latin, but Burberry is taking beautiful steps back in time with its Fall RTW collection displayed at London Fashion Week.  CEO/Creative Director...

February 24, 2015 8:43 PM  |  Fashion
Photograph by Chiaki Kato

TWELV Magazine Fashion Week Party @GANSEVOORT PARK AVENUE NYC

To celebrate and to take a break from all the pandemonium of New York Fashion week, TWELV partied at the Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC on Monday.

February 24, 2015 8:04 PM  |  Fashion

KTZ NYFW F/W2015 Ready-to-Wear

TWELV attended KTZ’s NYFW presentation and snapped front-row shots of the collection.  Luxe materials, bold patterns, and Native American inspired designs encapsulated the whole of the...

February 18, 2015 2:22 PM  |  Fashion

PRADA Spring/Summer 2015 AD CAMPAIGN

Prada had a strong presence at the 72nd annual Golden Globes as displayed by stars like Christoph Waltz, Common, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  Hot off its solid representation on...

February 17, 2015 5:30 PM  |  Fashion

Jill Stuart NYFW F/W2015 Ready-to-Wear

This season Jill Stuart offered up a collection that we are already coveting – the pieces transition so easily from daytime to nighttime that they all seem like a smart investment. 

February 17, 2015 5:20 PM  |  Fashion

Moncler Grenoble F/W2015 "SECRET OF VALENTINE KISS"

Moncler Grenoble “Love Factory”

↓CLICK BELOW FOR VIDEO↓

February 16, 2015 4:36 PM  |  Fashion

BACKSTAGE #6 VIDEO: Kiko X Chanel

"Behind the scenes of TWELV Magazine's inspired creations"

February 16, 2015 3:36 PM  |  Fashion

VIKTOR & ROLF S/S2015 COUTURE COLLECTION

“Couture is a laboratory for ideas and a place for experimentation,” said Rolf Snoeren at the Victor & Rolf Haute Couture show in Paris.  And experiment they certainly did.  The...

February 13, 2015 12:31 PM  |  Fashion

Atelier Versace S/S2015 Couture Collection

Donatella Versace took this spring couture collection back to “the shape of a woman’s body, which is curvy.” 

February 11, 2015 2:48 PM  |  Fashion

BACKSTAGE #5: THE GUMMY BEAR DRESS

"Behind the scenes of TWELV Magazine's inspired creations"

February 10, 2015 5:44 PM  |  Fashion

DOLCE & GABBANA SS15: A FAMILY AFFAIR

Dolce & Gabbana keeps it in the family this season with its SS15 ad campaign.  This is not the first time we’ve seen the family-outing theme from D&G, however the Italian...

February 09, 2015 5:15 PM  |  Fashion

Christian Dior S/S2015 Couture Collection

This year’s Dior couture collection was not what you typical expect from a classic fashion house like Dior.

February 05, 2015 7:51 PM  |  Fashion

Sherlock Goes Sixties In MIU MIU Pre-Fall 2015

Miuccia Prada got a bit groovy with her pre-fall 2015 installation at the Palais d’Iéna.  The set piece: drab olive green and washed out yellow set against tacky retro wallpaper.  It’s a room that...

February 03, 2015 3:12 PM  |  Fashion

JONI MITCHELL ADDED TO SAINT LAURENT MUSIC PROJECT

Hot off the release of the spring/summer ’15 Psych Rock collection, Hedi Slimane has appropriately enlisted folk legend Joni Mitchell to join the Saint Laurent Music Project.

January 29, 2015 3:24 PM  |  Fashion

DIOR SNEAKER HEELS: A FASHION FORWARD TAKE ON FITNESS

Have you ever taken a look at your workout sneakers and thought, “These just aren’t red carpet ready enough”?  Have you ever looked at your flashiest heels and thought, “These just won’t do if I...

January 23, 2015 3:53 PM  |  Fashion

‘Super H’ scarves by Hermès

French luxury brand Hermès has produced a whimsical video module to accompany the release of their new “Super H” scarves.  The six pieces of super hero inspired French fabric fly freely in the...

January 17, 2015 4:45 PM  |  Fashion

Pages

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