Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Paul Andrews: ‘I’m totally changing everything’

It was a brave choice on the part of Lemmi given that Andrew had never before designed ready-to-wear, let alone men’s clothing. “For me, design is …

There’s always a moment during men’s fashion month – the merry-go-round of shows and presentations in London, Milan, Florence and Paris – when the accumulated buyers and members of the press collectively pause and feel thankful to be doing the jobs that they do. Some seasons, it might be the unveiling of an extraordinary shoe (remember when the furry Princetown slippers first flopped down the Gucci runway in January 2015? Ye gods!); others, it might be as simple as a fantastic brand-hosted meal (even the most uninspiring round of menswear shows can be lifted by a plate of pasta al telefono from Milanese bistro Bice); and sometimes, if we’re really lucky, it might be an amazing show, an entire collection so zeitgeist-defining and fresh in perspective that it takes the breath away.

For the AW20 season show, that moment came at 11am on Sunday 12 January within the monastic surrounds of Milan’s Rotonda Della Besana. Paul Andrew, the nascent British creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, mounted his second men’s-focused outing for the brand. Buyers nodded in silent approval – eyebrows raised and mouths turned down – as the bobby pin-thin models walked past, while influencers Instagrammed feverishly about the looks they most loved. Even this magazine’s inscrutable Editor-In-Chief, Dylan Jones, was effusive in his praise. “That was great,” he whispered in my ear as the show’s thumping soundtrack died away. “We should write about him.”

© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com

An ultra-modern paean to all things leather, Andrew’s AW20 collection was a hard-edged collection with a soft, supple heart. Slick napa trousers in burnt caramel rubbed hems with tonal, heavy-gauge sweaters, while black leather T-shirts were teamed with trousers cut from the same fabric. Other highlights included a leather one-piece that had a sexed-up sewage worker vibe about it (below) and an oversized nana cardigan made from the finest cashmere. These were clothes imbued with a certain Italian elegance, yes, but also a new sense of modernity never before seen on the Ferragamo runway. What’s more, Andrew managed to dextrously walk the line between Ferragamo’s leather-working tradition and his own, considerably more contemporary vision. No small feat, given that Ferragamo has, over the past four decades or so, established itself as something of a high-luxury all-rounder.

Indeed, type “#Ferragamo” into the search function on Instagram and take a scroll through the 12.4 million posts that pop up. A high-colour mishmash of luxury pool sliders, OOTDs, Nigerian shoe resellers and Chinese influencers wearing the brand’s classic Gancini belts, it’s a convenient way to get an insight into the extraordinarily wide bandwidth with which the 93-year-old Florentine label operates.

Compare said algorithmic gathering with that of, say, #BottegaVeneta, which simmers to the surface countless moody-hued shots of the brand’s now iconic woven Cassette bag and girls in clompy shoes. Or, indeed, take a look at #Gucci, which instantly made my phone screen look like a pixelated G-G monogram rainbow. By contrast, Ferragamo’s product range is as wide as its customer base and that is as much a blessing for Andrew as it is a curse.

‘I’m totally changing everything: when we show, how we show, how much we show. It all has to change’

“Everyone from 18 to 80 is buying Ferragamo,” Andrew tells me when we meet over Zoom in the middle of the UK’s Covid-19-induced lockdown. Andrew is in his flat in Florence and his springy blond hair (which is clearly longer than he would like it to be) is brushed as flat as the vowels in his transatlantic burr. He also seems relaxed – or as relaxed as one can hope to be when being -interrogated over video call with an infernal international delay. “You’ve got super-conservative old ladies buying their Vara Bow shoes and then you’ve got young African-American hip-hop guys buying the Gancini belts,” he says. “And then you’ve got all that’s in between.”

Appointed as creative director of the entire Ferragamo brand – which comprises womenswear, menswear, accessories, shoes and, of course, belts – in early 2019, 41-year-old Andrew’s ascent into fashion’s upper echelons has been as smooth as it’s been speedy. Raised in the Home Counties by his upholsterer-to-royalty father and technology executive mother, Andrew’s childhood was an average, if creatively infused, one. “Growing up in Berkshire in the 1980s I was always begging my parents to take me into London to watch the amazing skyscrapers going up in Canary Wharf,” he tells me. “Afterwards, I’d go home and draw them in super graphic detail.

© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com

“Everyone thought I was going to be an architect, but I remember an architect friend of my mum’s came over and she told me that it can be decades before you see anything you’ve designed come to fruition – and sometimes never at all. That depressed me so much that I fell into fashion,” he says, laughing. “I started buying fashion magazines and plastering the images all over my wall, much to the chagrin of my parents, and footwear just seemed like an interesting combination of those two interests. The way you think about and construct footwear is much the same as you’d think about designing a building.”

Naturally, Andrew went on to study fashion and footwear design at the Berkshire College Of Art And Design (now Reading College), where his graduate collection caught the attention of buyer and consultant Yasmin Sewell, who introduced him to the design team at Alexander McQueen. An apprenticeship at the British label ensued (“Though this was in the 1990s, when there was no cash, so at some point my dad said I had to get a job that actually paid money!”), but it was really a subsequent trip to the States that sealed Andrew’s fate. “American Vogue ran a story and invited me to come to meet some designers who’d asked Anna [Wintour] about me,” he says.

‘Men’s collections are about archetypes: soldiers, surfers, bikers…’

What followed were stints working in the shoe and accessories departments of arch-American super-brands Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. It was in 2012, however, the year that Andrew founded his eponymous footwear label, in New York, that his star really entered the ascendant. “I did women’s shoes first and then I launched men’s a couple of years later,” he says quickly, brushing over his achievements – from what I can gauge of Andrew through the low-res medium of Zoom, he seems unassuming, shy almost. “And then I won the 2014 CFDA [Council Of Fashion Designers Of America] award for my work.”

And what work, minimal yet sculptural. At his own brand, Andrew specialised in grown-up stiletto boots, low-key kitten heel mules and architecturally infused pumps for women, while for the guys the look was as chunky as it was serviceable. I bought a pair of Andrew’s glossy oxblood leather loafers with two-inch platform soles around five years ago (they give just the right amount of edge to a classic black suit) and I still wear them to this day.

It was two years after his CFDA win, in 2016, that Ferragamo came knocking. “I went to Florence and met the family and the executive committee,” he tells me. “And I decided to join as creative director of women’s shoes.” A pause. “It wasn’t until a year ago that I took the hard but necessary decision to pause my own brand, because the stress of managing two companies was really too much.” Galling though Andrew’s sacrifice undoubtedly must have been, it’s easy to see why the Ferragamo family chose the designer to helm the most important pillar of its brand (a brand that currently boasts 654 stores in more than 90 countries). The similarities between Andrew and its late patriarch, founder Salvatore Ferragamo, are difficult to ignore.

Born in 1898 in the southern Italian village of Bonito, Ferragamo – the eleventh of 14 children – cut his teeth as a teenage footwear apprentice in Naples before moving to America to hone his craft. In 1927 Ferragamo returned to Italy and founded his eponymous footwear company in Florence. It was during this period that the young designer started producing the soaringly innovative architectural shoes with which the brand made its name in the middle of the 20th century. Ferragamo’s focus was on comfort as much as design (“Elegance and comfort are not incompatible and whoever maintains the contrary simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he famously once said) and his shoes became icons of on-foot innovation at the time.

‘You’ll never see me do massive sneakers with “Ferragamo” on the side. It seems lazy’

Scallop-shaped boots made of antelope leather were finished with horned uppers and platform wedges came complete with towering rainbow soles. These were shoes that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the McQueen catwalks of the mid-2000s – or, for that matter, lining the shelves of a Paul Andrew store in 2014. “What Ferragamo did in the first half of the century was really beyond avant-garde,” Andrew tells me. “In the years after he died, the company became more of a powerhouse, more of a conservative heritage brand, and part of what I’m trying to do is find the balance” – he pauses, looking down – “introducing the ‘fashion’ side of things while maintaining classicism.”

In 2017, Andrew was promoted to director of the entire womenswear division at Ferragamo, where his capacious duster coats crafted from syrupy leathers and simple architectural shirts quickly caught the hawkish eyes and sizeable bank accounts of the coiffed European elite. But our story really begins at the moment early last year when Andrew was appointed to his current role and menswear entered his repertoire.

“Paul is the natural creative leader of the Salvatore Ferragamo house as we enter a new phase of evolution and growth,” said Ferragamo’s chief executive officer, Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, at the time. It was a brave choice on the part of Lemmi given that Andrew had never before designed ready-to-wear, let alone men’s clothing. “For me, design is design,” says Andrew, when I probe. “The reason they made me the creative director of Ferragamo women in the first place was because I had such a clear vision of what that woman should look like and it wasn’t related to the shoes I was designing and that we were actually selling,” he continues. “In the conversations I was having with my menswear design director, Guillaume [Meilland], I realised we had a vision for the new Ferragamo man and how to bring the brand forward. We are a shoes and accessories brand, but I have grand ambitions to change that. Why should we not have more success in ready-to-wear? It’s already starting to happen: we’ve had great responses from our retail partners and it’s already expanding in volume into the stores.”

Andrew mounted his first menswear collection (SS20) for the brand in Florence – during the Pitti Uomo menswear fair – on a sticky June day last year. Shown as part of the womenswear collection it was a crisp-edged capsule of utilitarian cargo pants and flak vests in sotto voce hues. Clean and approachable, with a similar kind of soft luxury to Hermès and Bottega Veneta, the collection, which also featured lambskin trousers (as one would expect from a leather goods brand) aplenty, set a cautiously optimistic tone.

It was his aforementioned AW20 offering, however, that really caught the world’s attention. And it’s about this collection, which has hit stores now, that Andrew is his most effusive: “I think the ambition of the company is to build on the strength of our shoes and accessories and to keep that going, but they could also see that we were already doing very expensive fashion shows so why not turn that into a commercial endeavour rather than just a showcase for the shoes and bags?” Andrew questions. “My idea is to bring in a guy who isn’t just a Wall Street business dude buying a briefcase and a conservative pair of shoes. I also want to bring in a younger fashion client who’s going to be the future of Ferragamo.”

‘The family is engaged and very open about what is happening today in fashion’

There’s an art to visualising the man for whom one is designing clothes, to getting under the skin of who he is and what he wants, and it’s an art that, if mastered, can make a fashion company an awful lot of money very quickly indeed. Alessandro Michele took Gucci from low-billions bit player to global superbrand in a few short years by peddling endless colourful confections for his own magpie-esque man, while Kim Jones at Dior has got the showy-yet-chic profile of his male customer down pat. Who, I wonder, will Andrew’s uomo ideale turn out to be? “When you think about a women’s collection, it tends to be more about a period of time – like it’s going to be more 1960s silhouettes or more 1970s shapes. But with men’s it’s never really about that,” he tells me. “It’s all about archetypes for guys. So for this season I set out my masculine archetypes: the soldier, the surfer, the racing car driver, the sailor, the biker and the businessman. And when you look at the sartorial codes of those characters, that’s kind of what you get with the Fall/Winter 2020 collection. It’s like he’s wearing a surfer’s pant with a businessman’s coat or a biker’s overall with a soldier’s jacket. When you know those are the references, you see them come out in the collection.”

It’s a clever move. Where women are often more likely to buy wholesale into new trends and concepts early on – sophisticated in their ability to pick out what they like and ignore what they don’t – men, traditionally speaking at least, tend to be less willing to deviate from what they know. There’s a reason, after all, that the military aesthetic comes back around in menswear pretty much every season and it’s the same reason you’ll never attend an Autumn/Winter fashion week in Milan and not see at least five versions of a peacoat. Men love things that function and it’s an added bonus if they look good too.

What’s more, it’s a trick that will make the great coats, overalls and double-breasted suits that punctuated Andrew’s second solo menswear show seem all the more desirable to the real men buying those briefcases and conservative shoes in Ferragamo’s stores.

Ferragamo is, by any definition, a fashion megalith. On 31 December 2019 the company registered an annual turnover of £1.23 billion. With much of this income being the result of Ferragamo’s extraordinarily wide customer base, how does Andrew plan to strike the balance, I wonder. “It’s not easy,” he says with a smile, dragging his fingers through his hair. “The collection has to be constructed with all these different consumer groups in mind and you can’t lean too far one way or the other in case you alienate certain people, but I think we’ve done a good job of balancing the classic with the contemporary. There’s space for products that are going to relate to a fashion consumer more like us,” he adds, gesticulating in my direction down the barrel of the lens.

Does that mean Andrew, like every other fashion designer in the world right now, will be producing a chunky dad sneaker for Ferragamo? “I’m definitely not into the idea of sportswear at Ferragamo. I don’t think it’s a reference that works for the house. You’re never going to see me do hoodies and sweatpants and massive sneakers with ‘Ferragamo’ on the side,” he says, suddenly serious (or at least I think he’s being serious; it might just be my screen glitching). “It just seems lazy and inappropriate for a brand with this sort of heritage and history. So, for me, it’s more about twisting the classics. And I’ve been more inspired by workwear – that’s come more into the collection.”

‘My concept now is to do less but better, to produce pieces that stand the test of time’

It’s no secret that being the creative director of a major fashion company is a stressful business. Whispers of mental fragility and feuds circulate the upper echelons of fashion’s creative elite like smoke around the papal chimney. The problems are often only heightened when the brand for which said creative director works is still owned and controlled by the family who founded it. British designer Jonathan Saunders struggled as chief creative officer of Diane Von Furstenberg, where the namesake designer was still very much involved, leaving in 2017 after just a few seasons; Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent famously feuded when the former was appointed creative director of the latter’s eponymous brand. How, I ask Andrew, is he finding working for a company where key members of the namesake family are still so present.

His answer, when it comes, is as measured as the positioning of knick-knacks on the midcentury shelf framed behind his head. “The family is very involved,” he says with a wry smile. “There are several members of the family that are still involved that were part of creating the Ferragamo business at the very beginning. Mr Ferruccio Ferragamo, who is the president of the company, Salvatore’s son, he’s the one responsible for building it into a billion-dollar business, with his mother,” says Andrew, slowly. “They’re very engaged and it’s great to have their feedback and insight because they built this company.” He pauses. “But they did bring me on as the creative director and one has to inform them about what is happening today in fashion. They’re very open about that and there’s a really great back-and-forth.”

Zoom has just informed me that Andrew and I are almost at the end of our time together, but given that we’re in the process of entering the worst global recession in anyone’s lifetime and that fashion has taken a particularly hard hit during the pandemic – with production stalled and show systems irreparably disrupted – I’m eager to hear how Andrew thinks his industry and, more specifically, Ferragamo’s role within it will shift once things return to normal, whatever that normal may be.

“I’m not at liberty to speak about it much yet, but I’m totally changing everything: when we show, how we show, how much we show. It all has to change,” Andrew tumbles. “The way we worked before was crippling. It was broken. We worked every hour God sent, but for what?” He shrugs. “My concept now, which is totally backed up by the executive team, is to do less but better. Our place in the landscape is to continue producing pieces of a really high quality and level of craftsmanship and things that will stand the test of time.”

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Susquehanna lifts Foot Locker Inc. [FL] price estimate. Who else is bullish?

Susquehanna lifts Foot Locker Inc. [FL] price estimate. … Foot Locker Inc. [NYSE: FL] slipped around -0.56 points on Thursday, while shares … the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 9,089,403 shares of the stock …

Foot Locker Inc. [NYSE: FL] slipped around -0.56 points on Thursday, while shares priced at $31.85 at the close of the session, down -1.73%. The company report on August 26, 2020 that Foot Locker Opens Community Power Store in Compton.

New Los Angeles County Power Store Brand’s First on West Coast.

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Foot Locker Inc. stock is now -18.31% down from its year-to-date (YTD) trading value. FL Stock saw the intraday high of $32.8799 and lowest of $31.475 per share. The company’s 52-week high price is 47.86, which means current price is +82.42% above from all time high which was touched on 02/06/20.

Compared to the average trading volume of 3.06M shares, FL reached a trading volume of 2175407 in the most recent trading day, which is why market watchdogs consider the stock to be active.

What do top market gurus say about Foot Locker Inc. [FL]?

Based on careful and fact-backed analyses by Wall Street experts, the current consensus on the target price for FL shares is $32.45 per share. Analysis on target price and performance of stocks is usually carefully studied by market experts, and the current Wall Street consensus on FL stock is a recommendation set at 2.50. This rating represents a strong Buy recommendation, on the scale from 1 to 5, where 5 would mean strong sell, 4 represents Sell, 3 is Hold, and 2 indicates Buy.

Susquehanna have made an estimate for Foot Locker Inc. shares, keeping their opinion on the stock as Positive, with their previous recommendation back on July 10, 2020. The new note on the price target was released on June 22, 2020, representing the official price target for Foot Locker Inc. stock. Previously, the target price had yet another drop from $51 to $42, while B. Riley FBR kept a Buy rating on FL stock. On May 15, 2020, analysts decreased their price target for FL shares from 29 to 26.

The Average True Range (ATR) for Foot Locker Inc. is set at 1.31, with the Price to Sales ratio for FL stock in the period of the last 12 months amounting to 0.44. The Price to Book ratio for the last quarter was 1.44, with the Price to Cash per share for the same quarter was set at 9.91. Price to Free Cash Flow for FL in the course of the last twelve months was 9.43 with Quick ratio for the last quarter at 0.80.

How has FL stock performed recently?

Foot Locker Inc. [FL] gain into the green zone at the end of the last week, gaining into a positive trend and gaining by 6.99. With this latest performance, FL shares gained by 15.15% in over the last four-week period, additionally plugging by 5.01% over the last 6 months – not to mention a drop of -20.75% in the past year of trading.

Overbought and oversold stocks can be easily traced with the Relative Strength Index (RSI), where an RSI result of over 70 would be overbought, and any rate below 30 would indicate oversold conditions. An RSI rate of 50 would represent a neutral market momentum. The current RSI for FL stock in for the last two-week period is set at 62.49, with the RSI for the last a single of trading hit 67.65, and the three-weeks RSI is set at 58.75 for Foot Locker Inc. [FL]. The present Moving Average for the last 50 days of trading for this stock 29.08, while it was recorded at 31.14 for the last single week of trading, and 31.32 for the last 200 days.

Foot Locker Inc. [FL]: Deeper insight into the fundamentals

Operating Margin for any stock indicates how profitable investing would be, and Foot Locker Inc. [FL] shares currently have an operating margin of +8.92 and a Gross Margin at +29.53. Foot Locker Inc.’s Net Margin is presently recorded at +6.13.

Return on Total Capital for FL is now 16.96, given the latest momentum, and Return on Invested Capital for the company is 12.43. Return on Equity for this stock inclined to 19.72, with Return on Assets sitting at 9.43. When it comes to the capital structure of this company, Foot Locker Inc. [FL] has a Total Debt to Total Equity ratio set at 134.17. Additionally, FL Total Debt to Total Capital is recorded at 57.30, with Total Debt to Total Assets ending up at 50.36. Long-Term Debt to Equity for the company is recorded at 113.22, with the Long-Term Debt to Total Capital now at 48.35.

Reflecting on the efficiency of the workforce at the company, Foot Locker Inc. [FL] managed to generate an average of $9,628 per employee. Receivables Turnover for the company is 76.97 with a Total Asset Turnover recorded at a value of 1.54.Foot Locker Inc.’s liquidity data is similarly interesting compelling, with a Quick Ratio of 0.80 and a Current Ratio set at 1.70.

Earnings analysis for Foot Locker Inc. [FL]

With the latest financial reports released by the company, Foot Locker Inc. posted 1.13/share EPS, while the average EPS was predicted by analysts to be reported at 1.08/share. When compared, the two values demonstrate that the company surpassed the estimates by a Surprise Factor of 4.60%. The progress of the company may be observed through the prism of EPS growth rate, while Wall Street analysts are focusing on predicting the 5-year EPS growth rate for FL. When it comes to the mentioned value, analysts are expecting to see the 5-year EPS growth rate for Foot Locker Inc. go to -6.15%.

Insider trade positions for Foot Locker Inc. [FL]

There are presently around $2,837 million, or 88.00% of FL stock, in the hands of institutional investors. The top three institutional holders of FL stocks are: VANGUARD GROUP INC with ownership of 9,546,800, which is approximately -5.107% of the company’s market cap and around 1.30% of the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 9,089,403 shares of the stock with an approximate value of $289.5 million in FL stocks shares; and BOSTON PARTNERS, currently with $281.29 million in FL stock with ownership of nearly 0.509% of the company’s market capitalization.

Positions in Foot Locker Inc. stocks held by institutional investors increased at the end of August and at the time of the August reporting period, where 155 institutional holders increased their position in Foot Locker Inc. [NYSE:FL] by around 11,500,415 shares. Additionally, 209 investors decreased positions by around 16,559,743 shares, while 48 investors held positions by with 61,022,706 shares. The mentioned changes placed institutional holdings at 89,082,864 shares, according to the latest SEC report filing. FL stock had 66 new institutional investments in for a total of 5,495,381 shares, while 58 institutional investors sold positions of 1,383,270 shares during the same period.

GOAT Is Unveiling Its First Brand Campaign — And It’s Happening During the NBA Playoffs

… hard-to-find kicks — merged with brick-and-mortar sneaker consignment Flight Club and closed a $60 million round of funding from Index Ventures.

GOAT’s first-ever brand campaign is set to debut tonight.

The sneaker consignment marketplace has launched a campaign — directed by Daniel Sannwald, who has previously worked with Travis Scott, and styled by Dianne Garcia, the stylist behind SZA, Ella Mai and Kendrick Lamar — to celebrate self-expression and individuality through sneaker and apparel. Dubbed “Past, Present, Future,” the broadcast spot will air on ESPN, TNT and streaming services during the ongoing NBA Playoffs.

According to GOAT, the campaign was created during the coronavirus pandemic, which co-founder and CEO Eddy Lu described as the “ideal time” to engage its more than 25 million members and introduce the online reseller to a wider audience.

Related

“The past months have accelerated the trend of rapidly shifting consumer behavior toward increased online shopping, and GOAT will continue to be a brand with a distinct point of view and the leading destination for sneakers, apparel and more,” he said in a statement.

Watch on FN

Sannwald added, “Producing this work during a global pandemic required us to adopt new ways of collaboration, partnering with teams in multiple countries via video calls, without the opportunity to meet in person.”

The television spot, which can be viewed on YouTube, features an all-black backdrop where models take the spotlight in pieces from labels including Gucci, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Jordan Brand. In the background, electronic hip-hop music provided by Anthony Vasquez contrasts with animation by Daniel Werth.

Beyond the campaign, GOAT has other ties to the NBA, including a partnership with the Brooklyn Nets. Its brand ambassadors also include Los Angeles Lakers star Kyle Kuzma and the Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura.

GOAT
A still from GOAT’s first brand campaign.
CREDIT: Courtesy of GOAT

Founded in 2015, GOAT has continued to expand its business: In February 2019, it became the recipient of a $100 million strategic investment from Foot Locker. The influx of cash came a year after the sneaker reseller — which specializes in authenticating hard-to-find kicks — merged with brick-and-mortar sneaker consignment Flight Club and closed a $60 million round of funding from Index Ventures.

Last July, GOAT officially launched its app in China, which is its largest international market, as well as established an operations team based in Shanghai. “We know that there is a huge need to ensure authentic sneakers in the global sneaker industry,” Lu said at the time, “and we believe China is the perfect market to begin our global expansion.”

Why StockX Activity Is Up 50% Year-Over-Year: A Rally In The Stock Market Of Things

Why It’s Important: After receiving funding from Detroit VC, Battery Ventures, and even SalesForce’s (NYSE: CRM) Mark Benioff, StockX last year …

Detroit-based startup StockX said this week that May and June were two of the biggest buying months in the company’s history.

What Happened: StockX, which markets itself as the “stock market of things,” has become one of the leading secondary markets for verticals such as sneakers, handbags, watches and streetwear.

In recent months, the company has expanded its offerings to include baseball cards and even Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) AirPods.

A snapshot StockX released Monday said it has cleared over $2.5 billion in sales and over 10 million lifetime transactions, with site activity up 50% from last year. Notably, StockX is also seeing growth across all age groups within the last six months. Users over 45 have increased 30%.

Why It’s Important: After receiving funding from Detroit VC, Battery Ventures, and even SalesForce’s (NYSE: CRM) Mark Benioff, StockX last year entered the unicorn club, with a value over $1 billion.

StockX CEO Scott Cutler has publicly stated in the past that going public is the company’s goal.

StockX has a reported 650,000-plus individual sellers worldwide.

For those who are looking to make a return on the market, StockX provides a platform for potentially high returns on assets. Between February and June of this year, the prices of the top 500 selling sneakers on the platform increased 6%, while the S&P decreased 10%.

Nike’s (NYSE: NKE) Jordans saw particular growth in May, posting 40% growth in sales that was attributed to ESPN’s “The Last Dance.”

Benzinga’s Take: Keep an eye out for IPO plans from StockX. CEO Cutler is a former executive vice president for NYSE Euronext.

In May, StockX cut 12% of their workforce, which could be a sign of shoring up costs before announcing a public offering.

With other unicorn companies attempting to go public recently, it’s not guaranteed success — but the potential seems to be there.

Photo courtesy of Nike.

Vancouver’s first 3D printing shoe store opens this weekend (PHOTOS)

Securing funding led by Khosla Ventures, and joined by Tobias Lutke, the founder of Shopify, didn’t happen overnight for Casca. Parker took courses …

The future is now. More specifically, at 4166 Main Street –the home of Vancouver’s first shoe store fueled by 3D printing.

Casca, a company that began in a Vancouver basement, is now epitomizing the future of footwear and the brand’s first-ever retail space opens today, Saturday, November 30.

Co-founders Braden Parker and Kevin Reid observed their peers choosing between performance running shoes, classic lifestyle shoes, and luxury sneakers, on a daily basis. This, Parker tells Daily Hive, led them to see a gap in the market for footwear that cohesively confronts usability, sustainability, and aesthetics.

Using innovative technology that increases efficiency and reduces waste, the entrepreneurs are setting a new industry standard for the everyday shoe — and they have secured $3.5M in funding to continue growth.

Casca 3D printers/Neil Barbisan

Casca’s design philosophy is centred around the idea of having “less things that do more,” and in essence, one pair of Casca shoes is meant to replace several pairs of typical shoes.

We worked with orthotic experts in a lab for the first few months, analyzing products, learning about metatarsal bones and realizing that your feet are really the foundation for your entire body’s alignment,” says Reid.

The company’s debut model, Avro, features a custom FootB3D printed insole to deliver a precise fit and comfort with Casca’s patented orthotic support system, Lift OS. Customers choose between waterproof leather and knit styles, download the Casca app to scan each foot with three photographs, and from there, a 3D model is generated to design printed insoles.

“On a global scale, the footwear industry is among the most wasteful in the world. In creating the Casca shoe, we’ve strived to create a brand that inspires people to think more critically about shoes, and their own potential impact,” says Reid.

After speaking with the co-founders, it almost seems like Casca was in the stars for them.

Reid admits his obsession with footwear began as a child, after which time he went on to study industrial design and work in the fashion industry for 10 years, designing for brands including Native Shoes, Norse Projects, and Livestock.

“Working with these companies, and having the opportunity to collaborate with brands like Adidas and Fritz Hansen, really opened my eyes to the possibilities and also the limitations of the traditional approach,” he says.

Meanwhile, Parker grew up in an entrepreneurial family and was always trying to start a business on the side. After graduating from UBC, he worked for a real estate investment company because he loved the idea of building something from nothing.

During this time, he developed an online storage and parking company, and after becoming vegan, he created a cricket-based pasta company. “When Kevin came to me with this idea to reimagine the everyday shoe, it wasn’t long after that we were applying for 10 year working visas to China and starting development.”

Casca 3D printers/Neil Barbisan

Securing funding led by Khosla Ventures, and joined by Tobias Lutke, the founder of Shopify, didn’t happen overnight for Casca.

Parker took courses led by Brooke Harley, the founder of Vancouver’s Campfire Capital company. After this, he booked a trip across the US, slept on friends’ couches in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and took on every investor meeting he could.

“As we were fundraising, we knew we wanted to find investors that could add strategic value. When we were in San Francisco, I had a meeting with Kristina Simmons, one of the partners from Khosla Ventures. A few conversations later, after a discussion with Vinod Khosla, we recognized the alignment the two groups had for how technology could change the wearables industry,” he says.

Canadian entrepreneur Lutke and the Shopify team built the e-commerce platform Casca runs on. “No strings attached, we sent [Lutke] a pair of Casca’s with a handwritten note just to say thanks and share our story. Next thing you know, he was a big fan of the shoes and the conversation jumped to investment,” says Parker. “It was sort of serendipitous.”

“Vancouver has established itself as a leader in technical fashion, with brands like Arc’teryx and lululemon leading the charge. We’re thrilled to take it a step further by showcasing this emerging technology in a direct way,” says Reid.

Casca hopes to fully decentralize the supply chain by manufacturing 100% custom-fit shoes in-store by 2029, and its co-founders are excited to build the future of footwear with the Vancouver community. “We’re just getting started.”

The new sleek and minimal retail space was brought to life by young Dublin–based interior designer, Eponine Leahy. Vancouverites can now visit the store to discover how Casca is altering the construction of traditional sneakers.

Casca

Opens: Saturday, November 30

Address: 4166 Main Street, Mount Pleasant