A COMPANY that went from making your everyday basics, to starring in NBA and MLB competitions; STANCE is one of street-culture’s better known sock manufacturers.
Back in December 2009, the company was founded by a group of five designers who hoped to address an open market within an industry that was otherwise un-chartered territory; sock production.
6 years down the line and as the 2015/16 season got underway, STANCE was named the official on-court sock by the NBA. By doing this, STANCE became the first sock brand in NBA history to be allowed to display their logo on all socks worn by players. In the same year, New York’s SoHo area became home to their first store – relating directly to the 356% employee increase from the year before.
In cohesion with size?HQ, we were able to interview of the crucial men behind the scenes; Joff Fisher.
1.First of all, why socks? Stance found an enormous gap in the market – but what sparked the idea and pointed you in this direction?
JF: The Founders back in 2009 realised that it really was a forgotten category within the apparel business. An area that has been overlooked for too long. Its a great area to express yourself as a consumer and a fantastic platform to do the same as a brand. The first part of the process was the tooling to make the very best product – rather than buying a machine we worked with the experts to build our very own. This is where STANCE proprietary technology comes from.
2.Now street culture, what impact do you feel Stance has had on everyday fashion?
JF: Quality. The main motivation for the STANCE brand is to produce the highest quality product for those who exist to celebrate human originality. What is on your feet has never been more important – having that little colour pop or a sock that compliments your outfit is for those who appreciate the blend of art and science.
We partner with some of the greatest artists, Musicians and athletes that all have a unique story to tell. We began in action sports and created collections for our skate Punks and Poets, this quickly evolved into many sub cultures. – streetwear being a huge focus. That little logo hit on the inside of the ankle started to pop up on many of the street-styled posts as well as global platforms. These taste makers wanted Cam’Ron and Wu Tang socks but also craved your everyday – keeping alive the STANCE quality but in a toned-down palette. From this we created a range of ‘Uncommon Solids’.
3.What’s the next step for the brand? If you’re allowed to say!
JF: Our focus is to increase the STANCE brand awareness through our other categories. Socks across lifestyle and performance have given us a strong foundation across men’s, women’s and kids. We are seeing great success in our men’s and women’s underwear collections and look forward to launching our tee program into the wholesale market next year. Nobody needed another tee so we created three blocks, Japanese loop-wheel, Butter-blend and Cotton which is currently available across men’s and women’s both short and long sleeved.
In 2019, we have some great energy drops coming to the market but focus our energy into continuously evolving the quality and the design of our products.
4.Lastly, what’s your favourite collection personally?
JF: Such a hard question to answer! Depends what I am doing?! On a personal level, the Wu-Tang and Bruce Lee colabs have been amazing! The John Micheal Basquiat sock we did recently is probably my favourite sock aesthetically, such an incredibly talented body of work to have access to. But I’m a snowboarder and Mountain biker too so our FEEL 360 technology in the Performance line is awesome to have on foot!
More recently than the dates noted above, October of this year to be exact, the Wu-Tang Clan made an appearance at the 510 Broadway Store. Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and GZA all showed face, as their Wu-Tang collection launched. The very same Killa Bee collection as that currently available in size?stores and online.
However, it doesn’t stop at Staten Island’s most coveted hip-hop group. STANCE have also worked with musicians such as Rihanna, Big Sean, Santigold and Willow Smith. Fashion-wise? Asics aficionado Ronnie Fieg was granted a chance to work with the manufacturer, dropping colour co-ordinated invisible socks in cohesion with a number of pairs.