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Johnny Schillereff on new casual shoe collection

By Tiffany Montgomery
June 17, 2010 6:15 AM

Today, we talk to Element Founder and President Johnny Schillereff about Element’s new Emerald Collection of casual shoes, the niche the collection hopes to fill in the industry and how the integration with Plan B Skateboards is going.

Element will debut the Emerald Collection at ASR. Prices range from $49 to $89.

The Emerald Collection looks less like skate shoes and more like stylish, casual shoes.

Johnny: That's exactly what it is - casual footwear or what we call, active lifestyle shoes.

Element EmeraldWhy head in this direction?

There's no question that taste levels and the desire for high fashion, and environmentally friendly product have increased, so it's a natural progression to create a collection for that segment of the market.

There's a need for a leader in fashion forward, non-performance footwear in the action sports community, and it's our job to satisfy those needs.

Do you think any industry brands are serving that niche?

Not entirely, although I've seen a few experiment with it over time. Mostly, we’ve seen penetration from outside our industry, and the individuals being forced to look beyond our industry's retailers to fill their needs. And when they do find it, it's a non-endemic brand at a higher price point. The consumer should to be able to find that product at an affordable price, in our space.

What kind of look is Element going for with the collection?

Element EmeraldThe shoes have a natural and organic aesthetic - clean styling and simple silhouettes, giving them a contemporary look.

Most importantly, following the tradition of our brand's DNA, we are keeping our environment in mind by incorporating our Conscious by Nature initiative in the product and manufacturing process.

Where will the collection be sold?

The line will be found primarily in boutiques and specialty retail stores.

Element already has a line of skate shoes - has there been a learning curve entering the shoe market?

Yes, of course. When entering into any new endeavor, it's a matter of trial and error. So it's been an educational process that has allowed us to succeed and be who we are in footwear, and given us the confidence in Emerald (and our overall shoe offering).

Element EmeraldIt sounds like Element is growing rapidly in Europe. How is Element approaching that market?

We approach Europe the same way we do here in the States. We are a global brand with a united vision, and fortunately that translates well around the world.

Will the Emerald Collection be launched globally?


On a different note, how is the Plan B integration going?

Given our infrastructure, respect for one another, and shared philosophies and passion for skateboarding, it's been a natural process, and fun too! We’re their biggest fans, so it's been nothing but a pleasure and honor to be working with them. Unity is strength!



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