Soletron is happy to bring you an interview with Jordan Barrocas, VP of California’ Inc’s Airspeed skate footwear. They have been one of the industry’s top brands for over 10 years now, and it isn't hard to see why. Check out our full interview for the secrets to their success!
In California Inc.
Located out of:
Huntington Beach, California
Specialty Products Made:
Position with the Company:
How did the company get started?
“The company was started over ten years ago by the legendary Bill Mann. Bill was also the founder of Airwalk. Airspeed was created to be an authentic skate footwear brand, without the huge price tags of other companies.”
I hear Airspeed is moving offices. Why is that?
“Yeah, so we just moved our main office from North San Diego to Huntington Beach. It’s pretty sick. We’re literally on the corner of Pacific Highway and Main Street Huntington Beach, looking over the pier and beach. While San Diego has a massive skate culture, we were looking to be closer to some of our team riders and industry peers in HB. In general our new office location offers some of the best exposure to the skate and surf lifestyles that are so important to our business. And the view doesn’t hurt…”
How did you get involved with the company?
“I’ve always had a passion for footwear and the shoe business. I grew up with my entire family in the industry and knew I wanted to follow their footsteps. I had a few deviations along the way, starting my career out of college in the finance world. Ultimately, I stepped away from that and when back to school for my MBA. I figured I would use the education as a bridge into the shoe business and worked for a few companies until the opportunity with In California Inc and Airspeed arose. It was basically a no brainer as this company has awesome people, great ownership, fantastic product and respect for the consumer!”
How many stores are you currently sold out of?
“Airspeed is sold all over the country. You can find us in all of Wal-mart stores, as well as on-line. Check out our website
because there are some styles available on-line that are not in stores. We are also starting to expand internationally, so Airspeed shoes will soon be available to our friends across the world.”
Airspeed makes very high end products. How do you balance quality with affordability, keeping the prices of your shoes, shirts and decks so low?
“This is exactly what our company is about. Our tag line is “respecting your wallet since ’02” and I really think this is more important than ever. Times are tough right now and not everyone can keep buying $80 shoes all the time. Especially the kind of skateboard shoes we make that truly get used and shredded. So basically, we aim to make shoes that will last, and won’t cost a fortune. It’s tough to do, I’ll be honest, but it’s what we focus on. Everything from our business model which is centered on efficiencies to our supply chain helps us to achieve this. It’s also part of our culture at Airspeed. We look at business for the long term, and at the end of the day, as long as we keep making great shoes that last and respect the consumer’s wallet, we’ll be doing well. It’s the “Value” equation!”
What do you think the sneakerhead movement is missing from a retailer and a manufacturer’s perspective?
“I love everything sneaker related. I remember growing up and every time a new basketball player had a shoe out I did all I could to have it. Man, it seemed like there were new Jordan’s out every two months back then. Now it’s different. The new shoes coming out are basic and aren’t necessarily athletic product like they used to be. There is still a huge demand for kicks, but seems like we are buying mainly the same shoes we were buying years ago. The silhouettes are primarily the same as they have always been, which is cool, but I would love to see something really fresh in the sneaker world.”
Is anybody famous wearing your product?
“We have a whole team of professional and AM rider’s wearing our shoes. Some of the riders have their own signature series shoes. All that stuff can be found at the website airspeedfootwear.com. In general we are more of a grassroots company. We would rather get shoes flowing to AM riders and hook up some younger guys who need product, than pay a celebrity a million bucks to wear our shoes on the red carpet. Just say’n…”
What action sports outside of skateboarding are you involved in?
“We’re involved in them all—skate, surf, bmx, moto, music…”
Check out the original article with additional photos over at Soletron.com.