BBC International is getting serious about the sneaker market. On the heels of its successful Champion footwear launch in 2018, the company has added another casual athletic label to its stable: Straye.
The skate-lifestyle brand is the latest venture from streetwear industry veteran Angel Cabada, who founded the Supra sneaker and KR3W apparel labels, both of which were sold to K-Swiss in 2015.
BBC has signed on as a 50-50 partner, overseeing such functions as sales, production and distribution, while Cabada will focus on design and marketing for the brand, which debuted in late 2017. Adult styles are available online at Straye.com and from select retailers, including Zumiez. A children’s collection is in development for a fall ’20 launch.
“The partnership is a perfect mix, with BBC serving as the operational engine and Angel managing the creative side of things,” said Seth Campbell, SVP of business development for BBC. “I’ve always wanted to do something with him so this all came about very naturally.”
Cabada said he created Straye to fill a void for cool yet affordable skate shoes with an emphasis on comfort; Straye prices currently range from $39 to $55. “We want to make shoes that not only look good but feel good so you can walk all day in them without killing your feet,” he said. “Comfort is very important to us.”
He added that the evolution of skate culture opens up opportunities for new players like Straye to jump in. “Many of the brands I grew up with have disappeared because they didn’t change along with the market. The skaters of today are much different from the skaters of 10 or 15 years ago. [The sport] is becoming a lot more diverse and accepting of different lifestyles,” he explained. “This new wave of kids is not sticking to the rigid formula of yesterday’s market, and that’s what Straye is all about.”
In addition to a direct-to-consumer business, BBC plans to assemble a roster of wholesale partners, both big and small. International partners have been lined up for regions including Europe, South Korea and the Middle East. “So far, everyone is excited about the brand’s potential and the team that is in place.”