REVIEW, BACK TO JANUARY 2012: IAN MORRIS INTERVIEW We received a package from etnies with these United x etnies collab shoes and caught up with Ian Morris to get all the details about the deal.
What brought up the idea of doing an etnies X United collab in the first place? Ian: Since I started working at Etnies as the European team manager, the focus was on working with the brands related to the
team riders on various projects. The United project just fell into place, and was a bit of a no brainer really, having three riders on Etnies, Nathan & Corey from the US, Ashley from the UK, it crossed over globally with both the Euro/US programs.
Okay, the idea is there, how did it go from there to create a shoe for BMX that both parties and the riders are happy with? Ian: Well, we had 100% control over the finished product, from the shoes, colours, graphics etc. We started out by getting the riders (Corey, Nathan & Ashley) to select their favourite non signature shoe from the Etnies line and took it from there.
Nathan opted to run with the Jameson 2 and wanted to add some different materials into the mix. Using a cord as a shoe accent which we were able to mirror on the complete bike seat, this is how we went with the whole theme throughout really. Corey wanted a mid top style shoe so went for the Portland, and used his bama roots for the green with hunter orange eyelets and grey detailing. Ashley is definitely one to keep it simple, going for the Barge LS in all black with purple stitching, which is again mirrored in the complete bike and apparel to go with it.
Each rider also had artwork from one of their tattoos on each of the insoles for a nice finishing touch.
Do you recall when the idea was discussed? They’re available now, how long did the project take altogether? Ian: It was all pretty fast to be honest, we first started speaking about it around October/November of 2010, and the bikes and shoes were both available in November 2011, so about a year overall.
Is the shoe a way for a shoe company to enter the BMX shops, or is it more that the regular skateshops also offer a BMX shoe? Ian: It isn't really specific to either of those options, it is more about brands collaborating with shared interests and ideas. Obviously it works well for both brands, a shoe with United on is represented in a show shop, and an Etnies product in some bike shops that wouldn't necessarily always carry them. The majority of shops that would stock this shoe as it was such a fast turn around are the core BMX shoe dealers for Etnies.
Who, of your team riders are riding the shoes? Ian: Corey, Nathan & Ashley obviously! and then any of the other riders that are on Etnies, such as Geoff. A lot of the dudes have other shoe sponsors, but any that don't are rocking them!
Is there anything about the shoe that was specifically designed with BMX in mind? Ian: For this project we worked on shoes that were already in Etnies existing line up, all shoes have their merits for BMX use, with pretty much all the soles on Etnies shoes providing a really good grip. The Portland that Corey chose as it is a mid top, always nice to have that little bit of extra protection around the ankles.
Any BMX projects in the works with etnies for 2012? Ian: Right now there are projects with Fly, Terrible One, Fit & Mutiny, plus the relationship between Etnies and United combined with how this first project worked have led us onto a new one already. Not all of this will be out for 2012, but there is definitely plenty of BMX projects with Etnies on the horizon.
Want to win a pair of these? And a United x etnies complete bike? Make sure to check back in soon, here on FATBMX.com.