Interview: Kris Wright of Jhung Yuro
Kris Wright breaks down the upcoming First Class Hi.
words & images_Nick DePaula For Jhung Yuro founder and designer Kris Wright, each season brings a new challenge as he hopes to drop a fresh new twist on casual in our ever-evolving marketplace. The latest model from the lifestyle brand is the First Class, a silhouette that delves higher in cut than they've ever gone before. Available now during the Fall season at all of their retail partners for $100, the First Class features two interesting construction details of note. Namely, the rolled edges along the toe cap and the somewhat floating heel overlay are particularly sharp. It's a touch that takes time and effort to get just right, and once again, Kris Wright and his crew have rolled out a model that I fully approve of. With a pigskin lined interior and sockliner, the brand is continuing on with the rich materials and texture that have carried it this far. Read along as Kris breaks down the design of the First Class for us. Nick DePaula: Can you walk me through the design lines of the First Class? Kris Wright: The JY First Class is a clean but rich built shoe. When we first began discussing the concept and direction for this model we decided that this shoe needed to be clean and understandable, however very rich and detailed. The shoe is all about clean lines and multiple materials to highlight the clean aesthetic of the shoe. From the angular top line, to the toe cap and to the quarter panel overlay we designed and built this shoe with a lot of attention to detailing. The shoe has a taller cut than most JY silhouettes, is that a trait we can look forward to in following seasons? Yes, this shoe is definitely higher than any of the shoes we have done in the past, except for the new boot we are launching next month. While we have another shoe launching in Spring 2010 that's called the Jhung Yuro Breathe and is also a true high top, I wouldn't go as far to say that this is our new direction by any means. We have always taken the approach and strategy of designing footwear that we believe falls in line with our personal style for that season or year. To answer your question, yes, we have a great new Hi top coming in Spring and everybody was very happy with how the JY Breathe was received this past Magic show. Was there anything you changed along the way with the model? Quite honestly it's rare that factories nail a shoe the first time out during the development process, but in the case of the First Class, the factory nailed the shoe spot on from a design point of view. We did not have to make any design changes along the way, but we did make some minor color changes once we began selling the shoe in. What upper materials for this season are you most excited about? The texture and quality that you guys are able to offer isn't seen too often at that price point. I'm really excited about the perforated full grain leather and the subtle patent leather detailing we are using on the First Class. Both are very rich and exude value for the end consumer. I am also always proud of the recurring pig skin collar and sock lining that we use on all Jhung Yuro shoes. It's very rare that you see the kinds of material stories we offer in our product at the prices we retail our shoes at. What colorway of the First Class have you been rocking most? I have been rocking my all grey First Class Hi's. The shoe is now colored Grey/Red but it was originally all grey and was super clean and subtle. We had a war at the office over the addition of adding the hit of red to the shoe. At the end of the day, that particular color is dope either way and I have gotten some good mileage out of the original color up and now I'm about to transition into the Grey/Red version!! The Old School and First Class are both pretty unique and yet on the same tooling, what were you hoping to do differently with each? When designing new uppers while using the same tooling, the goal is always to make sure each new model is a far departure from the original model it follows. In the case of the Old School 2, the strapping and lacing system combo is the stand alone detail that clearly defines that model. With the First Class, the toe cap and vamp are the defining pieces that define this model. What stores can you find Jhung Yuro in and what accounts or markets are you looking to expand into? We are currently being sold in over 100 independent retailers around the USA, including Up Against the Wall and Jimmy Jazz. We are in the process of ramping up our business with two additional multi-door independent specialty retailers, while staying mindful of taking our time and growing the business in a safe and healthy manner. Jhung Yuro First Class -- Black/White: Jhung Yuro First Class -- Grey/Red: Jhung Yuro First Class -- Black/ Mint/ Gold: Jhung Yuro First Class -- Brown/ Light Brown: