In 2001 Los Angeles, Jim Bartholet established his brand 'Clae' which bridged the difference between the athletic market and the corporate market by creating casual, minimalistic athletic soles which remarkably stand in the now ubiquitous 'luxury sneaker moment'.
It is majorly focused on quality, comfort, and style. Clae wanted to bring coveted footwear that's at once on-trend and timeless. Bartholet says he wanted to sell shoes with longevity and quality over fast fashion figures, shoe's something that nobody buys every month. Recently it is focusing on identifying opportunities in sustainable production and introducing styles made from recycled materials. In the beginning, as well it kept on adding sustainability to its benchmark. In 2001 it started with incorporating non-animal synthetic materials and textiles like hemp and neoprene along with high-quality leather. Bartholet says it's been 20 years that now he has attained a vegan split model versus leather.
From the beginning, only their brand line was "wear them forever". Their classic silhouettes like court shoes and running sneakers were kept on upgrading with the introduction of new materials or clever collaborations. These partnerships yield limited-edition product releases beyond footwear. The project with Son of Cobra included a surfboard while the collection with iconic Parisian department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche offered a sherbet-hued basketball.
In the last two decades, Clae has steadily elevated its production processes to be as sustainable as possible. They now want to recycle marine waste for their upcoming sneakers and for that they want to gain support and expand their partnerships.
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