Repost from @ahoov Rick came into the Lakai office with a pair of navy leather Onitsuka Tigers, from what I believe was a Fourstar Japan trip. He set them on my desk in a casual way. He didn’t say much, but something like, “I found these on the trip and they’re pretty cool." These Onitsuka’s were navy leather, not suede, but leather vulcanized basic shoes. This was 2003, when most styles had an airbag and were 3 times the size of your foot. That shoe sparked the inspiration for a completely different silhouette. A simple, clean skate shoe. The new concept was different. It didn’t have a toecap at all. The toe vamp was longer than the average skate shoe and the tongue was thin. The market was a sea of shoes with too many panels, short toe-boxes and fat tongues. Sales and the execs were not into the idea at all. It was going against everything that was working in the market. It looked “unfinished, it’ll never work." In a plea to make the shoe, we compromised and made the toe shorter. This was a shoe that the execs didn’t care about, so we colored it up however we wanted without the influence of sales or the market. It was an experimental shoe that made complete sense for skating. The first 3 three colors were all black suede, chocolate suede and white leather, all with gum soles. Thanks for the inspiration, Rick.