words // Brandon Richard
In a surprising piece of news, Shop-Eat-Surf is reporting that Pierre André Senizergues and Sole Technology are putting the éS Skateboarding brand on hiatus. Senizergues says that the move will make Sole Tech more efficient and allow them to pour more resources into their other brands, which include Etnies, Emerica, Altamont and ThirtyTwo.
Founded in 1995, éS focused on making skateboarding footwear and apparel with a more athletic aesthetic, sophisticated materials and higher price points. It is currently positioned as Sole Tech's second smallest brand, behind clothing label Altamont. According to Senizergues, Sole Tech will deliver éS product through Spring 2012, before going on a "creative retreat."
The shutdown, which isn't being referred to as permanent at the moment, is the direct result of two factors. One, perhaps the more obvious of the two, is the economy. While Senizergues wouldn't give an exactly number, he told Shop-Eat-Surf that less than 20 positions were being eliminated with the move. The second factor is the increased interest in producing skate footwear by larger companies like Nike. If consumers continue to refuse business to brands rooted in skateboarding, éS might be far from the last skate brand to fall in the next couple years.
While the larger companies do produce great skate footwear, it's unfortunate to watch the brands that were there before the hype fall to the wayside. Will news like the hiatus of éS make you any more likely to go out and support rooted skateboarding brands today? Share your thoughts with us below.