Marc Boone's a self-admitted sneaker-head. Boone grew up in what he calls "the hood," where he was "surrounded by thugs and drugs." He wasn't a member of a gang back then, but here recently he started one: the Sneaker Gang. The tag's a bit of a misnomer; Sneaker Gang is Boone's design firm specializing in street-wear fashion.
Given the culture that's grown up around sneakers, which can cost thousands of dollars and which have often been the target of thieves (including one cop recently busted for stealing sneakers), Boone often finds it necessary to say: "We're not condoning any gang related activities and we are not to be confused with one." He goes on to say, "we're affiliated" (a nice way of saying 'we got street cred but we aren't gangsters).
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What he does: CEO, founder and designer for Sneaker Gang, Boone is responsible for the design, manufacture and marketing of the company's sneakers and sneaker related products. An avid collector of sneakers, Boone found himself slowly losing interest in buying sneakers by other designers and so decided to venture out on his own. Fashion-savvy but untrained in design, Boone worked with an assistant to craft the first Sneaker Gang release, the Diamond Back (shown above). He talks about wanting to eventually build Sneaker Gang into a world wide brand with him designing, promoting, and managing the products, but at the moment he has smaller, more immediate goals like selling his current stock of Diamond Backs and building Web site traffic.
Boone plays down his role at Sneaker Gang: "[Really,] I'm [just] a 'sneaker head' that saw an opportunity to brand an image unique to the culture of sneaker lovers."
Why he likes it: "After many years of collecting sneakers during my childhood, my dream was to design my own shoe," Boone tells us. "I can't pinpoint one particular part of the process that I enjoy most since every single step and decision made is critical to the success of Sneaker Gang."
What inspires him: "Fashion is my life," he says. "I've always been known to have a keen sense of fashion." His Sneaker Gang designs were born out of his love for fashion and his real-world experience of wearing and collecting sneakers.
If not this, then what: Boone is a working police officer. Being a designer is his "if not this, then what" answer to working as a cop.
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If not here, then where: Houston, Boone says, is a good place for his homebase but he predicts that he'll be traveling lots to the different trade shows and expos to show off Sneaker Gang products.
What's next:"Throughout the year [I'll travel] to relevant conventions and expos showcasing sneakers and apparel such as MAGIC Show, Agenda, The Bank Sale, and H-Town Sneaker Summit."
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