How did the Echelon line of products come about? What products are in the line and how do they differentiate from your line that already exist?
Lakai’s main focus is skateboarding and always will be. Still the people behind the brand and some of the team guys are getting older and their taste maturing. So Echelon is part of that natural growth. We wanted to build a separate category from our skate line to tell a different story. Echelon is for the guys after they are done skating and want to clean up and look smart. Or for the guys that just want understated detailed shoes with minimal branding. Like any Lakai shoe Echelon models are still skateable but fashion has become the focus over performance.
What premium materials did you choose to use and why? I find with a premium product it’s the little details that make it stand out like stitching, lace material, lace-loop colors etc. Can you elaborate on this?
Launching Echelon in spring we used canvas as our base material for most of the line. Canvas is breathable and it’s just classic, it takes color well. We upgraded the classic solid shoes with premium waxed laces and hits of leather, simple yet classy.
There are 2 new silhouettes in this line can you tell us about them?
The first one is the Albany and was designed specifically for Echelon. I wanted to make something that was completely different from any other Lakai ever. Something that is a fashion shoe, like a Paul Smith or something. The other shoe we introduced is a mid top of the Camby. The Camby has become a brand staple and we wanted launch the mid through Echelon. Its a low desert boot with a unique collar shape, all canvas with the iconic leather pull tab.
How was the event at Kingswell Los Feliz? I felt like it was a perfect match for your premium line to be launched at a premium store. Everything looked like it belonged and the wooden flare with the grass inside was phenomenal. Who shot the photos, made the flare?
Kingswell was a perfect match for the look of Echelon and I look forward to continuing that partnership for Echelon. The creative director for Lakai is also an amazing photographer, Andy Mueller. The wood work was sick, that all comes from the super creative all around awesome person Sarah Christoph. She rips …
Thanks for your time when will the echelon range be available and where?
Available now at premium skateshops that know whats up! And if you can’t find it there you can always go to Lakai.com
Interview and photos by Su Young Choi