Interview with Bernie Pai (CEO of SPX) and Giosuè Impellizzeri (responsible of internet promotion of SPX)
How did you come up with the idea to found SPX? Tell us more about and motivation behind it.
SPX was founded in the 80s by a British company, Triple Three Leisure Limited. It was also European distributor for Troop. After we took over this brand (around the end of 90s), we have moved from London to Tokyo, where we restarted after some years of break. In Japan we have recreated the brand image with new materials and sensational colors: if you compared SPX of early days, you will see in same models (i.e. Street Slam) but applied on new colors mixtures and new materials. In the beginning, SPX was mainly related to Hip Hop culture, but since we had re-launched it, it was opened to other fashion scene, with a lot of new models. One of our mottos is ‘SPX doesn’t lead fashion, but create it’. During the years we got a lot of collaborations with Asian DJs, girl bands and rappers, as DJ Ozma, 2NE1, Kara, Big Bang, B2ST, Rain and just recently we started a new one with young Swiss guy Luca Hanni, the winner of season 9 of Deutschland sucht den Superstar. We had made some customized shoes for him, with special details. Basically SPX trying to be different from the other sneakers on the market: we are producing the shoes in our own factory with all kinds of new developments of shoes, sole and components of molds. We are doing all by ourselves, from A to Z, including the small components such as arch-molded Speed-lace, counter badge or even the stabilizer to name a few. All is marked with SPX name/logo, so the final result is something of not comparable to the usual sneakers available in every shops around the world :)
What do you think about the history of sneakers and its sneakerheads, how did it developed in the past few years?
Sneaker is more popular right now than any time of the history in shoe industry, all of the material and soles were so nicely improved than many years ago, so that, the sneakers which was made with new developed material, plus the comfortable insole with high density footbed, plus the high cushion of the outsole etc. All of these details will come up with a new era for the sneaker business.
How will the business develop in the future?
The future is on web. Internet is the biggest revolution of new millennium. We are working more on our web tentacle, we would like to redesign our website and e-shop, for create something more closed to web 2.0. One of our services is called MTO (it stands for Make To Order), and it’s a way for order customized SPX, with colors combination and material that you like to have. At the end shoe can be definitely something of unique, and you can say to the friends, “hey guys, this shoe at my feet is the one and only in the world” :)
What are your next steps, future plans and wishes?
We are creating a new line of SPX in Urban collection, apart of the Hip-Hop fashion. This new collection will be very interesting to join into the market. We shall start to show the new Urban Collection from Fall 2013 from Paris, our SPX European Distributor. SPX is very successful in Asian market, especially in Korea and Japan. SPX was very lucky to get some young bands, DJ and girls performer bands to wear it on the stage, this made SPX being well-known in Asia in so short times. Just recently we have started a new collaboration with American artist/performer based in California, Chad Future. The goal is becoming more well known and popular, but in the same time to keep alive the high quality of our shoes. Last, but not least, we are planning a special limited edition series for collectors, based on reissue of old SPX models produced in early 90s.
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