Athletic Propulsion Labs found overnight success after NBA banned their sneakers because of their excellent performance. They gave “undue competitive advantage” to the league’s basketball players. The brand, created by twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston, has won a strong cult following, including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner. Vivian Chen chats with the masterminds behind the label. The brand is now available at Lane Crawford
What’s your vision for Athletic Propulsion Labs?
AG: We believe that Athletic Propulsion Labs sits at the intersection of performance and fashion, and want to continue to solidify our position as the world leader in the sector.
Can you tell us the importance of R&D for Athletic Propulsion Labs’ designs? What motivated you to start Athletic Propulsion Labs?
RG: R&D is extremely important. While our silhouettes look amazing aesthetically, they are rooted in the best performance technologies, and developing those technologies takes a lot of time and resources. We always believed you did not need to sacrifice aesthetics for performance and we work very hard to seamlessly blend our various technologies with compelling silhouettes, which R&D-wise can take some time. We were motivated to start Athletic Propulsion Labs because we were two-sport college athletes and wanted a product that could instantly help us perform better, but also looked amazing.
Do you think athleisure is a trend here to stay and why?
AG: We believe that athleisure is not a trend, but more a cultural shift. People want to look great, but also be comfortable and athleisure is exactly that. Fashion is becoming more performance inspired and performance is becoming more fashion inspired and they meet at athleisure, so while it may seem like a trend or phenomena ... we believe that it is here to stay because it is becoming a lifestyle for so many people.
Do you feel savvy customers today are more attracted to niche brands with quality designs and products such as Athletic Propulsion Labs instead of the traditional mainstream sportswear?
RG: We believe that our design, quality and technologies speak for themselves and the consumer responds incredibly to that, but also, as the world becomes more connected and social media has such a big impact on people's lives, that people don't want to look like a walking billboard for a brand. Consumers want to tell their own personal story, not the brand's, therefore a brand like ours, which features beautiful silhouettes, amazing technologies and only small branding that isn't adorned all over the shoe, speaks to the customer of today and the future.
AG: Our breakthrough in fashion happened very organically. We felt that the one major thing missing in the fashion high-end market was something that blends lifestyle and performance and no one was catering to it. Just like everything that happens naturally, we gained extreme momentum after our initial success with specific retailers and it was a combination our silhouettes, colour palettes, and materials that allowed us to differentiate our brand and create a brand that really resonated with the fashion community.
How has celebrity endorsement helped Athletic Propulsion Labs’ business?
RG: Celebrities wearing the products have been amazing for us in terms of spreading the word about the brand and displaying the products on a global scale, but just as important for the brand as the celebrities have been our customers around the world. A lot of the people that purchase our products are influencers in their communities and have helped our business grow to the size it is today.