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The Allen: Casual, Mature, Jazz Aesthetic – November 2011

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Mock Sketch of The Allen

After a long summer of testing and trouble with ebay, all of the setbacks, hopes, dreams and redeveloping my business plan have led to this, The Allen. When I first launched ARCH, my first release was The Tori. The shoes that followed went back to my athletic roots. The Allen can be considered a low cut version of the Tori, but with a bit more cool. If you have been following the site and the ARCH story, you know the CG097II was supposed to be the next release. The problem is running shoes are technical, but that isn’t the reason for the change of heart. Running shoe sales tend to slow down in the winter months. Launching a running shoe from a new company with a 90 dollar plus price point is a risky endeavor. (The money to do the running shoe was pretty steep too, but we will gloss over that 🙂

The picture above is obviously a sketch and therefore it doesn’t tell the whole story of The Allen and who the market will be. Here is the breakdown of why The Allen will be a classic silhouette.

1. It was not made for the Jordan Brand crowd. My market is not 15-30 years old with this shoe. My birthday this year was special. I realized I had far surpassed the age that most men who were born and raised where I was from were supposed to succumb to the streets or even worse fates. I am a reformed sneaker head who still has a nice collection of sneakers, but what I realized was that I was lacking a casual, mature, jazzy shoe that wasn’t a dress shoe and could be worn on Casual workdays or to a nice club where there was poetry, indee, jazz aesthetics being catered to. I needed a shoe that allowed me to say, I’m getting older, but I’m not trying to revert to a second childhood.

2. The shoe was made for the style conscious man who likes quality materials and realizes that just because I’m old doesn’t mean that I don’t care about fashion. I tend to think that market is the 32-48 year old group. We are the Hip-Hop generation and shoes matter (But that 60 year old dude on X Factor is changing my demographics).

3. When you blend suede and canvas, you not only get a shoe that can be worn in the fall/winter months, you also get materials that are becoming standard since I made the Tori.

4. A leather insole is quality personified.

The Allen is a mature shoe. It’s not for men who care what their friends think about their choice of women. It’s not for men who are afraid to show their intelligence. It’s not for men who can’t appreciate the reunion of Black Star, and who have never listened to A Love Supreme from beginning to end. It’s not for men who don’t treat women with respect. In other words, it’s not for boys. It’s casual, mature, and jazz, personified.

Coming in November in very limited quantities.

Materials: Brushed Suede, denim canvas, leather insoles