Brand Recognition: Etonic

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Hakeem Olajuwon’s first signature shoe will make a triumphant return August 1st 2014. His signature sneaker will be the first shoe released for the Etonic brand. The iconic brand is making a comeback after a long absence and will be offering a wide range of sneakers. We spoke to Willie Esco, the creative director of the brand, about Etonic.

How did you get involved with the reappearance of Etonic?

My son and I took on this project in 2013 called SNKRBST. It is a website that collects everything that is going on currently in sneaker culture. Some old business partners of mine bought Etonic around that time. We all felt it would be a good time for me to develop not only SNKRBST, but also Etonic. I became creative director because of my involvement with SNKRBST and my past relationship with the owners.

What separates the Etonic brand from the numerous other shoe companies out there?

Etonic is over 150 years old. It is one of the oldest footwear brands in the world. The consumer today likes discovery and wants to wear something different from everyone else. Etonic has never brought anything back or retroed anything before. This brand hasn’t been out in abundance. It gives kids a chance to be unique and to be different.

What role will Hakeem Olajuwon play in the relaunch?

Etonic was one of the first brands to give a rookie a signature shoe—Olajuwon came out of the 1984 NBA draft with Michael Jordan. That was one of the best drafts in the history of basketball. We are starting from the beginning and trying to make the brand different. Hakeem has the respect of the industry and has been a mentor to a lot of young players in the league today. How he connects to the players of today will relate to his upcoming sneakers from Etonic.

What are your hopes for Etonic in the near future?

We want to make sure the brand is true to what it was. We also want to respect what the sneaker culture has become. We are relaunching the original styles of the brand and we are staying true to the Etonic heritage. We want the new consumer to get to know us better and when they know our history they will respect us for it. We want to grow slowly and make all the right moves.

You can learn more about the brand at Etonic.com 

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