Here is another éS footwear comeback related interview. It´s recovery from hiatus was heavily driven via social media. Especially the one, which no one considered to have any serious impact on anything besides growing number of hot chick selfies – Instagram. For two years, somebody has been posting pics about éS footwear at éS_please profile. Who was that person that was so disappointed of the hiatus, that he was able to beg for the return of the brand for so long? If you are looking for the biggest fan of éS, here he is – Matt Cannon!!
Hi Matt, seems like you have been the iniciator of social awareness about éS footwear. Honestly, when you have started éS_please was it just because you were bummed from the hiatus, or did you actually knew it can work ?
I started it with little expectations at all. My personal account (@altamatt) never really took off so I figured Insta was mainly for celebrities and girls with nice asses who posted selfies and not my skate photos and art. I met Don at Sole Tech and had him on both accounts. I knew targeting him would be extremely beneficial as he basically launched the brand. After he got on board (no pun) the support slowly grew. Pierre following it was a big indicator of success as he was following very few people. Designers, Atiba & Ako, past staff started following and commenting; even if it didn’t work the history learned and connections made were good enough.
How much time did you sacrified to the goal of bringing éS back? And did you run just the Instagram account or anywhere else?
It wasn’t time consuming at all. I studied business so this was a social media project of sorts, not for school, just to test the waters. At the time I was working a very boring job with free wifi so you could say I even made money while doing it. All images were grabbed from the éS Timeline or skately.com’s shoe library, hash tagged to death and I’d check it occasionally. It became a community. There’s 5-10 people there I communicate with more than some of my friends.
How big you consider your own impact? Do you think éS would come back this soon without the movement you have caused?
Well, I’m flattered, but it was on a hiatus with the intention of a return but I do think I had an impact. Did I accelerate their timing? Possibly. Last year Don contacted me asking questions about éS which was my first indicator this might work. After that I just noticed subtle hints, or I’m crazy. Trips to factories overseas, Frank Boistel returning samples, seemed imminent.
Why is éS so special for you?
I grew up worshiping éS and Emerica. Sole Tech is the only company I’ve stayed loyal to over the years. I have a Heath Kirchart Birdhouse graphic on my shoulder. Seeing éS go and Nike grow made me sick. I hate big business especially in such a sensitive market that so many people rely on. For Nike it’s just another number for investors. For Sole Tech it’s dinner on the table for people who built skateboarding. éS was iconic, easily one of the best teams ever assembled. I just wanted skateboarders to respect the past and not let the industry turn to garbage; Huf weed socks, lifestyle brand takeovers, massive energy drink sponsorships. I miss bulky shoes that aren’t boring and „clean“. Seems like most skaters don’t remember the D3 or éS Schemes, they just want Janoski’s & slippers that all look the same.
Were you involved anyhow in the comeback? In terms of actual (co)working with SoleTech for example?
Zero involvement outside Don’s mini interview. I was asked industry related questions, what I wanted to see and where it should go. Then I just watched it all unfold. Don hooked me up with some shoes, that’s basically it. We mainly communicated through tons of comments, but no connection at all.
I am sure you already have all the tree models at home. Have you already skated them?
I have all 3, they weren’t for sale here. I’m wearing the accelerates right now & they’re incredible. It’s -20C outside today, so, no, yet to skate them. They’re all super comfy and a perfect offering. You’ve got a pure skate shoe in the accelerate, a casual/skate shoe in the Accent and the Accelite is just an awesome chill shoe, though I will be skating them too. The hate and outrage online over the runner toe is absurd. I didn’t realize people had that much time and passion towards skate shoes they simply just didn’t have to buy.
Which is your most favorite éS shoe of all times?
This is a hard question. I’m going with the Arto and I don’t even like air bubbles. I just remember skating the hell out of them! They were indestructible, black and gum and just looked so sick! Accel, K1, SLB, too many!
So now you are in the position of the random guy whose effort has really paid off. Do you think this can motivate people to finally support skater-owned companies thinking „I can do it too“?
I hope it motivates people to do something some would consider crazy or weird. Whether it’s pushing for Sheep Shoes to come back or a stop sign at a local intersection. Give it a shot, it might work. Everyone should support skater owned and drop this lifestyle stuff. Pick your own style, be different, I’d rather people shop at a thrift store over a big corporate skate company but they’re all needed and support skaters.
How about the famous Ronnie Creager petition? Is that also your iniciative or if it is not, did you at least signed it?
I was contacted on insta about it but completely forgot to sign. I’m curious to see what it got. Ronnie needs no petition. If there’s a team he’ll get first call, it wouldn’t be right otherwise and I don’t doubt he’ll be there. I can’t wait, he’s so talented. His Menikmati part is legendary and his shoe was amazing.
Seems like in times like these every brand needs some guru like The Boss, The Chief, Frosty…you name it! Therefore Ronnie is probably the ultimate choice. But on the other hand, there are some people like Elridge, McCrank that have been with the brand till the end from almost beginning. But they had problem to act as a coherent team which also contributed to the hiatus…I donť know I have already lost the pointJ…what are your thoughts about new éS team? Or should there even be some? Should they make it the same as it was in 2012/ hire young bloods/ bring Tom Penny back…?
I’d love for everyone to come back but they’re likely locked up with Nike, Supra, Lakai, etc. I’m thinking Kellen James, Kelly Hart, Ronnie, maybe Bob at first. There’s just a lot of loyalty and I don’t see a lot of movement. I’d love to see guys like mike mo, Marc Johnson, Shane O’Neil. Anyone with a really clean style and super tech.
What is your idea, how „the new eS footwear“ should be?
What they’re doing with the 3 models only larger scale. Very diverse to cover all markets. Skate shoes, casual, runner, just a good mix. Some re-releases and shoes with heavy influences would be great!
Ok Matt, I think that´s enough for one article. Thank you for your time and all the effort you have put in the rescue of our loved brand!!