Sole Tech to Stop Producing eS Brand

Sole Technology will shutter its 16-year-old core skate brand éS after the spring ’12 season, but hopes to revive it if market conditions improve, the company said.

“Despite having strong support from skateboarders all over the world, we have made the decision to move éS into a temporary silent market mode,” Sole Technology CEO Pierre-André Senizergues said in a written statement provided to Footwear News. “Back in the day, the market needed more brands to capture consumer diversity. We put ourselves in our consumers’ and retailers’ shoes, and today we see there are way too many choices and complexities in the market right now. … Today we are being challenged by an oversaturated market full of non-authentic brands competing for attention.”

A representative for the company said the brand would fulfill orders for spring ’12 product, but that after that the line would be on an “indefinite” hiatus. Some staff members have been let go, with others are transitioning to new positions in the company. All rider contracts will be honored, the company said, but details were still being finalized.

Senizergues wrote that the decision will allow the Lake Forest, Calif.-based company to focus more on its other brands, including its Etnies flagship skate line, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary; the Emerica footwear line; the Altamont apparel line; and the ThirtyTwo snowboard line.

“The benefit of our decision is that we can maximize on what is currently generating the most profitable business and excitement for Sole Technology,” Senizergues wrote. “We have a strong portfolio of brands that are creating demand, and with this change, we can make them even stronger.”

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