No easy feat, Edmonton, Alberta’s Foosh celebrate their 10th anniversary this year. As the centerpiece of their celebrations comes a collaboration with Creative Recreation on the flagship Cesario high-top. To help put things in perspective we ran a Q+A with the brains behind the operation, Justin Der as he gives us an insight into how the store has changed over the years as well as the inspirations behind the shoe itself. The shoes will retail at $149.99 CAD (approximately $136 USD) and will release in-store tomorrow, on Thursday, June 11th at 7:00 pm at Foosh. They’re also accepting orders via firstname.lastname@example.org.
10544C 82 Ave Edmonton, AB
Canada, T6E 2A4
Ten years ago, what made you want to open a store, a streetwear store at that?
In the beginning, I started making and printing tees back in the day and selling them to other shops here in Edmonton and Calgary and out west. It was good for a while, but I wanted more, so I decided to open up my own shop and do my own thing. Back then, when Whyte Ave (the area in which the store is located) was still in its developing stages of becoming Edmonton’s major fashion hub, most stores didn’t carry what I defined as innovative and interesting, so my partner Rob Clarke and I decided to build a shop that we felt would push the envelope in fashion and music, while maintaining that community-oriented feel that makes the “Ave” what it is.
What were some of the original brands you carried?
When we first started out, it was hard for us to link up the lines that we wanted, so we were stuck having to pick up brands that would pick US. Some of our first lines were our in-house Foosh line, XLarge, LRG, Base Brooklyn, Milkcrate Athletics, Luscious, and Fidel. Of course, as time progressed, we were able to obtain brands that were still largely unknown and in their growing stages such as Obey, The Hundreds and 10.Deep. Bringing in these lines to our shop and watching how those companies have grown and in turn, how those companies have made us grow, has been a pretty surreal experience in retrospect.
How has the whole culture and scene changed around Edmonton?
Our clientele in 1999 is definitely a lot different than our clientele in 2009. As popular music changes, and target markets of companies change, what we carry in our shop has to change as well. Music is definitely a huge factor in the scene shift in Edmonton. Skinny jeans and deep v-neck tees weren’t as fashionable in ‘99 as they are now, that’s for sure! The older generation that helped us build Foosh to what it is today are all now getting married and having babies, so our main client base presently are the kids, which we are hoping will keep this ship running for many more years.
How did you get hooked up with Creative Recreation on a shoe?
For our 10th anniversary, we wanted to do something big – something memorable. We were the first stores in Edmonton to carry Creative Rec so we were quit familiar with there designs and fit. Edmonton kids responded well to the shoe. Our Creative Recreation rep offered to relay the idea of creating a Foosh shoe to the higher-ups in the company, and the rest is history.
Beside an obvious theme revolving around the Oilers, what were some of the concepts you were looking to incorporate?
Well, the colors are all Edmonton for sure and the “99” on the side of the shoe not only represents the pride our city still has for the glory days of Gretzky, but it was also the year that we started our shop. Orange has always been a staple color with our company, having been used in our signage, our bags, and our tees. The perforation was added with the intention of giving the shoe a bit of a nostalgic jersey feel.
I know just as well as any, but it seems as though despite the fact the Edmonton Oilers are perennial bottom dwellers, why does the city revolve around the Oil year-in, year-out?
First of all, screw you. Second of all, the Oilers are our team for life. You don’t just jump off the bandwagon if things don’t work out for a couple years, that’s why Edmonton is the place to be, this city cares and supports its own. I think our 10 years here is extra special because of the family that exists here to support us. However it would be nice to win a bit more often these days – lol.
A few years back, I was around in the back-room to witness the mayhem of seeing Foosh’s small in-house line blow-up thanks to a simply crafted t-shirt featuring Paris Hilton behind bars. Have you sort of put the in-house brand aside for now?
The line has been big in Canada for some time. Foosh was a clothing line in the early years that was in a number of shops through the west. That shirt was one of many classic Foosh designs, but when it caught fire it went world wide. We’re still in the t-shirt game and are steady producing new prints for our line, but our aim is to keep the tees a local thing that is available to people who roll through Edmonton and of course, those who live here. A lot of our tees are based around our own sense of humor, and experience and what ever we are feeling at the moment.
What else do you have planned for your 10th anniversary?
This is a monumental occasion, so we’ll be throwing crazy parties, popping champagne, and doing special things for our customers and associates as a huge thanks for making Foosh such a success!
And finally… what’s with the long greasy hair?
Well with these hard economic times, i hard to get a second job begging money on the street, long hair works perfectly!! hahaha