Blog

In Conversation With: Clae

24.02.17

Arriving at Reiss for the very first time, footwear brand Clae fuses refined design and high quality construction with a laid-back L.A feel

What is your role at Clae?

I am the GM EMEA which involves taking care of the brand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I have been with the company for the last two years and have closely followed the brand since 2001.

 

How did Clae get started?

Clae was born in Los Angeles in 2001. The idea was to create sneakers using the highest quality materials and technology from performance sneakers. Our aim has been to follow a generation that grew up with sneakers who now want to adopt a more elegant and refined style to take them into the world of work.

 

What defines Clae as a brand?

Our values have been the same for the last fifteen years. We are built on timelessness and comfort, using only the highest quality materials. We make premium, classic sneakers that last.

 

What inspires Clae?

The brand takes inspiration from mid-century modern design. The 50s, 60s and 70s were intensely rich in terms of design. Some of the most iconic products ever surfaced during this time; the Eames chair or the Porsche 911 are both good examples. The beginning of the idea of connecting beauty and functionality really emerged during this period.

 

“Design is not simply an art, it is elegance of function.”- Ferdinand Porsche

Clae is based in Los Angeles – does this influence your designs?

Los Angeles definitely has a unique atmosphere which combines a laid-back attitude with elegance. There appears to be a sort of sweetness of life which hides the reality of it being the second largest city in the USA and the third richest city in the world. In terms of architecture, classic design references sit happily alongside cutting-edge architecture; all the complexity of Los Angeles is an unending source of inspiration for Clae.

 

Which Clae sneakers are you wearing at the moment and how are you wearing them?

I am wearing the Gregory SP in white. I like the refined design of this silhouette and the subtle sports references. I also wear the Bradley white sneakers quite often for the same reason. You could say that I am a monomaniac with white sneakers, no matter the weather I never travel without a pair tucked away in my luggage.

 

What goes into creating each pair of Clae sneakers?

All our sneakers are handmade using full grain leathers and beautiful suedes, we also add neoprene details and an EVA insole for extra comfort. There is a lot of detail that goes into our designs for both aesthetics and technical function.

 

What is the most unique thing about Clae sneakers?

We do not exist to please everyone. We offer what we do best; that is to provide quality footwear with a clear design standpoint.

What is the future of Clae as a brand?

I like to compare Clae to a really good restaurant that is hidden from the main street and its traffic. A table that you’d recommend to your friends; each time you eat there, you are never disappointed. The future is to grow our community organically, being proud of what we do everyday.

How did the Reiss x Clae exclusive shoe come to life?

The Reiss x Clae exclusive sneakers take inspiration from the Gregory SP sneakers but are realised in triple white. Each pair is crafted from full grain leather and built on our SP sole with a very comfortable EVA insole. The idea was to offer this elegant silhouette made from the best quality materials. You cannot go wrong with a pair of these elegant sneakers in white.