Ewing x Sneaker History – A Conversation With David Goldberg

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Retired Pat releasing retros at KITH NYC.

Back in February we dove into the history and origins of Ewing Athletics. Today, we have an extra special treat centering around what the brand has been doing since its reintroduction in 2012. Over twenty years have passed since Patrick’s Hall-Of-Fame career but his brand’s presence remains strong in the sneaker, streetwear and music communities. Ewing knows their strengths and has created their own lane within the footwear industry. This success is due to David Goldberg (President of GPF Footwear, the company that distributes/creates Ewing shoes) and his team’s willingness to reinvent the brand without sacrificing the heritage Patrick’s iconic silhouettes. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with David about what Ewing’s been cookin’ up recently. We have partnered with Ewing Athletics to give a lucky fan a chance of winning a free pair of shoes! Check out our Instagram for details!

New 33 Hi Reflective (Win a pair on our Instagram!)

Q) Tell us about the reintroduction of the brand? Timing really is everything, huh?

A) Like all of us here, David’s been a connoisseur of footwear for a long time. He was in the resell game around 2007 and through his business connections was able to meet with David Falk and Patrick about bringing the brand back…
Patrick was hesitant at first and wanted to ensure things were done right this time around. Ewing has a hands-on approach, he’s not slapping his name on this product and calling it a day. He has input on what goes out and the direction of the brand, a little less involved at the moment because he’s busy coaching at George Town. Ultimately, I (David) got the opportunity to license the brand and bring Ewing Athletics back into production in 2012. successful because of their core fans. “You look at some of the other similar brands to Ewing that have tried to come back and no one has really lasted as long as we have and it’s something we’re really proud of.”

33 Hi Red Suede

Q) Where do you draw inspiration for themes/colorways?

A) We don’t just make event shoes, or partner in collabs for the sake of it – we make it cus it’s dope. “There’s no grand illusions that we’re going to be a 500 million dollar company and go public. We’re a small niche brand, we’re thankful to have a group of core supporters who really appreciate the brand and we’re just really trying to serve those guys. It comes from an organic place, we’re thankful for our fanbase.” We try to do things that tie back to his legacy without being cliché. For example the tribute shoe we did for Patrick’s teammate, Anthony Mason. We do a Jamaican flag shoe because that’s where he’s from. There’s the Breast Cancer Charity shoe because his sister unfortunately passed away from it. I got on the computer and knocked it out myself. We’re always trying to do things that tie back to his legacy and career… we try to let it start from a great design and build from there. I design most of the releases and have a great team behind me creating too. The newly released Speckle Pack was a group effort from a materials/ design standpoint.

Ewing Rogue “Breast Cancer Awareness”
Sport Lite “Speckle Pack”

Q) New York is hip-hop, Ewing is New York… what is the relationship between Ewing Athletics and Hip-Hop like?

A) Ewing can fit into both the mainstream and underground lanes while maintaining authenticity. For every collab with Hip-Hop legends like Cormega or Outlawz we can work with platinum-selling artists like 2 Chains & Rick Ross. “Like what we did with Cormega, one of my favorite rappers; I met up with him personally, we vibed and it felt right so decided to work together. It’s not that working rappers is overdone, it’s just everyone is doing it.” From a history standpoint, rappers/ artists wanted to support the things they liked- their cover art repped Ewing because they believed in it. Fans rep heavy for Ewing, New York, and Hip&Hop so it all comes together organically. “The brand now tries to honor that heritage and relationship.” Later this month a special edition tribute shoe for Big Pun will release that ties into the 20th anniversary of his debut album (be sure to visit Ewing Athletics for more info).

33 Hi x Outlawz

 

Q) What about Ewings collaborations outside of music? Like the Akoo Clothing and You Gotta Eat This drops. 

A) We always try to come from an organic and genuine place (a true theme of Ewing). We seek quality, niche brands. “They (Akoo) showed us the whole seasons worth of designs that were those colors and we wanted to come up with something that really complimented it. It was really meant more for them than for us, we wanted it to match their apparel seamlessly.” The YGET collab centered around Bun B & Premium Pete’s love for sushi (hence the premium salmon upper with wasabi green accents and chopstick wood details).

33 Hi x Bun B + Premium Pete
Sport Lite x Akoo

All images via Ewing Athletics. Link to purchase: here!