Despite the hardships of 2020, fashion and accessory brands are seemingly re-energized to take the reins and set out to control a new frontier. The time has come to open the hatch and rebel against the norm to create supercharged product offerings. I can almost guarantee that sneakers will be guns blazing as they enter into hopeful year of 2021.
In short, the needs and requirements of consumers are changing. At present, the baseline requirements will become more important than ever before. For most consumers however, the idea of intimate change with respect to performance and sustainability help perpetuate the social identity of brand voice. Of course the modern idea of design involves a semi-transfer of creativity as customers today have more and more of a stronger voice in thanks to advancements in overall technology. This is the era of hyper-luxe, super charged performance wear. More to the point, it is where athletic and luxury conventions are combined into one to create a never seen before new sneaker category.
It is said that in a world of shortcuts, cost-cutting sneaker manufacturers cut corners to mass-produce and over-promote overrated sneakers. The industry hasn’t really innovated in decades. On the contrary, they are simply repackaging the same old technology, but in extreme shapes to lend the appearance of massive alterations. In a word, they are spinning the narrative and consumers are eating it up.
I recently reviewed an innovative brand taking on the all bark and all bite approach. Handmade in Italy by the most sought-after craftsman, Courser is keen on utilizing cutting edge technologies and materials. The result is a lightweight shoe made from nubuck leather backed with the most durable fiber for a supple and long-lasting fit.
The brand’s proprietary 100% carbon fiber plate optimizes performance for a superior ride, better biomechanics, and a reduced injury risk. Courser’s midsole/outsole is where it gets interesting. It is by all means, revolutionary, using a breakthrough compound that provides a cushioned ride with virtually no compression.
Founded by Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro Petry their aim is to define a new frontier for footwear. Their collaboration on Courser is the culmination of their lifestyle, dreams, and passion.
“Courser was founded out of our desire to create a new category for footwear – Hyper-luxe. We sought out and developed the best technical materials in the world and combined them with beautiful design and the ultimate Italian craftsmanship,” stated Michael Petry. “Much like the world’s legendary super cars, Coursers are engineered for the highest levels of pleasure and performance.”
The sneaker is a first of its kind in that it is for the gym and the street combing incredible performance, and a sleek design. Moreover, the sneakers last around 2500 miles (while most shoes last 300-400 miles). The 100% Carbon fiber helps in optimizing performance for a superior ride, better biomechanics, and reduced injury risk (most shoes are 6-8%). Lastly, Courser’s midsole/outsole is revolutionary, utilizing a breakthrough compound that provides a cushioned ride with virtually no compression.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Courser co-founders Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro about how the pandemic presented them with a new challenges, how they considered every aspect that would affect the performance of the shoe and why their aim is to focus on buying investment grade products – buying less, but buying better!
Joseph DeAcetis: What’s unique about the brand?
Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro:
Courser is unique because we didn’t set out to build a shoe to a certain price point. We set out to make the best shoe in the world, using the best materials, handcrafting each pair in Italy, leaving the shoes on their lasts for 24 hours and utilizing techniques and constructions never before seen in performance sneakers. You can say that the shoes are made similarly to how a Supercar like a Lamborghini or Ferrari is made.
Joseph DeAcetis: How did you come up with the design for the sneakers?
Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro:We set out to make an iconic, recognizable, and timeless product. The inspiration was about finding the intersection between luxury and performance. We considered every aspect of the design meticulously, analyzing how each detail would affect the performance of the shoe. We obsessed over every design element and challenged the artisans we work with in Italy to turn conventions on their head. The design is intended to elicit the energy from our Coursing dog, as seen in our logo, and the beauty and elegance of an animal in full flight.
Joseph DeAcetis: Your view on trends into next year?
Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro: Next year anticipate that people will spend more time investing more in themselves, their health, their wellness, and their fitness. As a result, the focus will be on buying investment grade products – truly buying less, but buying better.
Joseph DeAcetis: Did COVID have an impact on the company? Launch?
Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro: Forming a new business is difficult no matter when you start it. The pandemic certainly presented us with a new set of challenges, but also drove us to accelerate our launch. We believe we created a product that is in line with consumer’s shifting priority of thoughtful purchasing, drive to be healthier, motivation to get fit and are excited to share our company’s vision.
Joseph DeAcetis: What made you want to launch your own brand?
Michael Petry and Laurie Spiro: Insanity! We have worked for some of the best brands on earth and had some of the best mentors in our industry. But we have always dreamed of having our own family business. Courser is the culmination of all our dreams and our passion for the pinnacle of design and excellence.