Most of the designers I spoke to don’t do traditional fashion shows. “I always talk to the CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America]—they actually piss me off, to be very honest with you,” Snyder says. “They, I don’t feel, support American designers. I don’t feel like they’re supporting Teddy Santis, who should be considered best new designer. Like, bar none—he should get it. He built an empire under all of our noses, and he’s done it in his own way. And same thing with Noah. Now, of course, everybody knows who Jerry Lorenzo is, but…Fear of God was doing the same thing. Same thing Virgil [Abloh] was doing.”
Industry thinking goes that if an American designer is lucky, he might get a post at a European luxury house. But none of these stars seem destined for the fashion machine. Most of them grew up on sneakers, T-shirts, and jeans, listening to rap, going to hardcore concerts. Savoir faire means little to them, as does the European fashion system. “For us, our dream has never been to go to a big luxury fashion house; it’s always been to create our own house,” Lorenzo says. Now the goal beyond that is a creative position at a sneaker brand, like the one Santis has with New Balance, or Kanye West’s with Adidas, or Pyer Moss designer Kerby-Jean Raymond’s with Reebok, or the one Lorenzo formalized with Adidas basketball last winter.
The New American Footwear Rotation
New Business Models
Snyder, a native Iowan, has a…