Monkee had the pleasure of interviewing SG3's, Luke Deering (Co-Founder & Business Operations Manager), Daniel Bailey (Co-Founder & Designer) and Omar Bailey (Co-Founder & Designer).
The SG3 brand started with one simple goal: To design the most aesthetically pleasing and comfortable athletic footwear exclusively for professional athletes. Four years from the first time the brand appeared in professional sports, SG3 is finally preparing to design and develop their first commercially available line of footwear. The line will be a selection of aggressive, uniquely designed high performance cross trainers. The concepts that I have seen so far, look like they could have been the result of a threesome, with Tinker Hatfield, an ill tempered Lamborghini and Carmen Electra… before she started to look like a handbag.
We just had to ask them about the idea behind this new direction, where their inspiration comes from, and much, much more…
What’s the idea behind this new direction… why?
Luke – It’s time we take our mind set from just developing footwear specifically to thrive under the demands of professional sports, to also applying that creativity and knowhow to developing footwear that excels both performance wise and aesthetically, when it comes to every day use. We have created all sorts of lifestyle and athletic footwear for everyday use on a one-of-a-kind basis, to fit specific individual’s wishes. But, sharing our footwear with a wider audience, by creating a limited commercially available line, is something that we have always wanted to do and the main thing on our minds right now.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Daniel –I can get inspired by anything really, from concept cars, to dope branding, art, nature, music, traveling to different places and everything in between. When I’m designing I usually just blast music in my headphones, 99% of the time I have no idea how the concept is going to turn out.
Omar – My inspiration stems from a life of exposure to unique and interesting cultures through traveling the world. Honestly, most of the time, I cannot remember were an idea comes from. However I feel that I have an endless archive of images in my head that I can tap into when I need. Living in New York City, there is also so much inspiration everywhere you look from the subways, to the parks, to the people, and so on. The most important thing about always being inspired is having an open mind about everything that you experience.
How did the three of you meet?
Luke – Daniel and I met at a sports academy in England about 9 years back. Think Dan was 15 maybe 16, he was a new basketball recruit who could dunk well for his age. Somehow, Dan ended up betting me that he would be able to 360 dunk in two weeks after being at the academy. If he did manage, I would have to give him my prized Puff Daddy and the family CD. But if he couldn’t, he would have to rebound my shots for 20 hours. Daniel took the bet, and lost… actually, come to think of it, I think he still owes me rebounding time. And I met Omar through Daniel.
Daniel – Yeah I met Luke at a Basketball academy back in England, and I met Omar at a design conference in Philly. Same last name, no relation...at least not that I know of.
Omar – Actually, I was giving a lecture at the IDSA conference in Philly. I’ll never forget the bright yellow Air Jordan 1’s that Daniel had on in the front row. Then I eventually met Luke through Daniel.
Can we expect your first commercial lines to look like the concepts that we're seeing?
Daniel – ...Yes.
Tell us about the "Sole Project" on your web site...
Luke –We wanted to create a site that takes users through the whole design process in close to real time. The individuals that SG3 makes one-of-a-kind footwear for have always played a key role throughout the design procedure. We thought that it only makes sense to do the same with our more widely available lines giving everyone the ability to let us know their thoughts as we go through the design process. Let’s just hope that our designs are good enough to inspire others, but not to the extent that they launch our product before we do. As for the final designs and our most technologically unique concepts, sadly they will only make it to the site as we launch the product.
Daniel – Sole project was initially a concept just for the lup line of Ping Pong shoe's we'd been working on (see below), but then the idea grew to encompass the SG3 lines as well.
I wanted to show what footwear design and developers do; the traveling, Photoshop/Illustrator renderings, sketching, tech packages, wear testing etc... We thought it would be great to show everyone what’s actually going on and somewhat come along on the journey with us, if for nothing else but to satisfy their curiosity.
What advice would you give to a young designer looking to get into footwear?
Omar – Well when I was 13, I decided that I wanted to design shoes. This was at a time when the internet was not that common so it was difficult to get any information about footwear design. By luck I was able to go to a school that was very well known for footwear design. With that said, my advice would be to do your homework and find someone who is actually doing it, then try and develop a relationship with him or her. Send them your work (yes I said it), and ask lots of questions. The last thing on your mind should be not wanting to share your work because you think someone will steal it. I had to do it, and all other footwear designers had to do it. Your focus should be to extract the info and apply it to what you want to do. The best thing you have going is your youth, which is the only time in your life that the right people will genuinely want to help you without expecting anything in return….use it your advantage.
Daniel – I think one of the biggest things would be to do internships. Do as many, in as many different fields as you can while you're at school and early after. You learn basically nothing in school compared to what you learn on internships, and interning also opens up a great network of key people that you should keep in contact with.
Aside from that, work hard and find your process
Luke – To Omar’s point on sharing your work: nine years ago when I was in high school I took a class in Fashion Design. I designed and designed with all my heart but failed the course because I refused to hand any of my designs in for the final exam. I thought my ideas were so great that my teacher would steal them. Google “Luke Deering fashion designer” and see what you get.
I guess the moral of the story for me was: when the time is right you should always share what you are doing or you will never have the opportunity to get recognized by the right people for your efforts. If in school, probably the right time to share course work would be exam time.
Big Monkee Love to Luke, Daniel and Omar for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Don't forget to check out www.SG3.us! You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to find out what the latest developments are over at SG3.