Luxury footwear and performance brand Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) is shifting into high gear and partnering with the British Formula 1 motor team Rokit Williams Racing.
APL, which has previously had a partnership with other teams, will be supplying Rokit with footwear for racing, “to ensure that the race team can perform at their highest level,” said Claire Williams, deputy team principal of Rokit.
Adam Goldston, co-founder of APL, said the collaboration reflects the company’s focus on producing luxury performance gear. “Racing has become a passion for APL, and we built them a collection that elevates the optics and performance of the team,” he said.
The athletic brand was founded in 2009 by twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston, whose aim was to create luxury footwear that performed on a professional athletic level.
According to the brothers, growth has been organic. “We started as a direct-to-consumer business, and that’s how we built that connection with our customer. We also have a strong online business,” said Ryan Goldston, adding that the brand is stocked in Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Le Bon Marché and Lane Crawford.
The products are made from luxury materials, such as merino wool, and perform to such a standard that they were banned by the NBA in 2010 for their ‘Load ‘N’ Launch’ technology. The APL shoes were the first pair to be outlawed for performance reasons. Items banned by the NBA are usually done so for aesthetic reasons.
“When we got banned, that was something that forever changed our future, because it was basically the authority saying that the product was too good. So that gave us an instant boost. That unique selling proposition was really what resonated with our consumer,” said Goldston.
The brothers are now putting their focus on expanding in key markets such as London and Paris. A physical retail space is also in their future.
“For us, it’s about creating an experience and not about the four walls. So a retail outlet will be really important to us, and we’re not looking at just the domestic approach, we’re looking [internationally] because we believe we’re a global brand, not just a U.S. brand,” said Adam Goldston.