Tony Ferguson, ALIFE Footwear

A veteran-skateboarder turned footwear President of New York lifestyle brand ALIFE, we caught up with Tony Ferguson during the Spring/Summer 2012 preview to talk all things skate and shoes. Read more…

Since you started off as a skateboarder, can you talk about how you became involved with the brand?

I started a distribution company about six years ago. To bring new brands into the Canadian market; Alife was one of them and I started distributing it in Canada. I just got more and more involved with the brand and the footwear side of it; helping with production, signing, to where it turned into a licensing agreement. We have a global license for footwear. And basically that’s how it all started.

So you brought it over to Vancouver, since it’s based in New York.

Right, through that we started working closely with New York. And decided to run all the footwear from here [Vancouver].

You used to skateboard, are you in semi-retirement or do you still keep up?

Yeah, I definitely keep it up. I try to skate as much as I can; I’m just not out there on the circuit. I’m just semi-retired I guess. But definitely at home I’m roaming around.

Best skate park in Vancouver?

I would say I really like Queensborough Skate Park in New Westminster.

Can you talk about the collaboration with The New York Art Department?

It’s the founders of the brand; where all the creative comes from: Rob Cristofaro and Arnaud Delecolle. They started a new company where they do consulting and design work for different companies. They wanted to do different things that the brand wasn’t doing, curating art events and music.

Are they going to bring in some of the artist collaborations into the clothing and the shoes?

Yeah definitely, but it gives them a chance to work on something that we might not be doing with the apparel or footwear.

Let’s talk about the Spring 2012 collection you have here.

This is spring and summer altogether. These are some of my favourite ones. This one is “The Moc,” we came out with it last season, it’s just like a Native-inspired moccasin with a tie-up, like a modern slip-on. This is pretty much my favourite shoe right now; we added these little tassels to give it a classic look. It has this Birkenstock-feel where it molds to your foot naturally.

Another shoe that’s another one of my favourite, the “Public Mid,” is a super lightweight canvas shoe for summer — comes in blue, white, and red. And then the “Public Estate Mid,” is a different version of that shoe, just a vulcanized sole with a court-foot bed as well. They used to call them “Playboys,” back in the day, people like Steve McQueen would wear – so that’s inspired from that.

And these have been great for us, the “Chuck-low,” basically a desert boot, like the chuck-high, we made this into the low-top version with a samba indoor soccer wrap sole.

Something I like that I think is unique as well is the colour hit on the back of our soles. It’s kind of like our branding.

Final comments?

We’re bringing in a few new creatives into the brand. There will be a press release coming soon.


Photos taken by Carmen Lam, except cover and last photo courtesy of ALIFE.