[Breaking News] K-Swiss Purchases Skate Brands Supra, KR3W

Angel Cabada Supra
Angel Cabada, founder of Supra.
Courtesy of brand.

K-Swiss Global Brands has expanded its roster of labels with the purchase of California-based skate-footwear brand Supra and its clothing company KR3W.

The deal was finalized Friday at 7 a.m., but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Larry Remington, president and CEO of K-Swiss Global Brands, said Supra and KR3W had been on the company’s radar because of their notoriety, innovation in the footwear and apparel markets and growth opportunities.

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Remington also said Supra and KR3W fit well under the K-Swiss Global Brands umbrella because the labels are in a market K-Swiss didn’t have a presence in yet. (K-Swiss was acquired by E.Land World Ltd. in 2013.)

“One of the criteria was to find a brand that wouldn’t cannibalize our other brands,” he said. “K-Swiss is an American heritage tennis brand, Palladium Boots is a casual footwear brand, we have a comfort brand such as Otz, and PLDM is a French fashion brand. Supra and KR3W, born from skate and then [growing into] the action area, really fits in nicely.”

Larry Remington Larry Remington of K-Swiss Global Brands. Courtesy Image.

While the focus on building the brand in the U.S. is a priority, Remington said Supra’s sales abroad — which account for 60 percent of its business, according to Supra founder and chief Angel Cabada — made the brand attractive, and K-Swiss sees growth opportunities in Europe, Asia and China.

Cabada spoke with FN in May about a potential sale and said that while talk of the company’s purchase has been going on for years, no one had shown him enough money for him to sell.

Cabada launched the skateboarding-shoe brand in 2006. Supra would later enter other markets, such as running and casual footwear. The brand quickly rose in popularity due to its most distinguished silhouette, the Skytop.

Influential celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne have been spotted in the brand’s shoes, with the latter collaborating on his own line, Spectre by Supra.

While Supra is primarily a skate-shoe label, Remington is intrigued by the brand’s successful expansion into the lifestyle market and plans to continue extending Supra’s product lines. Still, Remington said, the brand’s roots would always be planted firmly in skate.

Robert Capener Robert Capener. Courtesy Image.

Although Supra founder Angel Cabada and CEO Scott Bailey will have advisory roles in the transition process, Supra will have a new president in Robert Capener, founder of brands Above the Rim and Heaton, who has also worked for Adidas, Reebok and No Fear.

Along with Capener, CMO of K-Swiss Global Brands Barney Waters will have input on and oversee the brand.

Although K-Swiss Global Brands just acquired two more brands, Remington said the company isn’t done buying, citing the company’s lack of presence in the running, workboot, hiking and sandal markets.

“We see ourselves somewhere around 2020 as being a $3 billion company with 10 brands,” he said. “Right now, we operate six brands, so we have a ways to go.”