The 101 of starting a sneaker brand with Ben from GOOD NEWS
Ben Tattersall and I first met whilst working for the same brand, him in a sales role and myself digital. Fast forward two years and he and business partner, Nia Jones, are making big movements with UK based footwear brand, GOOD NEWS London. Inspired by retro American culture and baseball, GOOD NEWS looks to combine 70s colour palettes with minimalistic clean lines and modern bold shapes; creating a fresh iconic unisex style.
I had a chat with brand directors, Ben and Nia about how it all came about and what’s next for him and GOOD NEWS.
What made you want to start your own sneaker brand? Was there something you thought was missing from the scene, a gap that needed filling?
As sneaker consumers, we were struggling to find something fresh. We felt the canvas pump market was missing colour and boldness. We also felt it was frustrating not being able to wear Converse in the winter because your feet got cold, and didn’t want to wear a pair of boots. We wanted to create a sole unit that would look dope in the summer and durable enough to rock in the winter. From this, we have created a unique thick natural rubber sole that gives ultra-comfort for men and ladies looking for a contemporary sneaker at a reachable price. The use of bold designs and primary colours is at the essence of what we do.
Obviously baseball features heavily within the brands aesthetic, where else did you take inspiration from whilst starting out? Art, culture, travel?
The rich history of baseball plays a big part in our brand inspiration. Since the birth of baseball, the spirit of community was always at the forefront.
The subcultures that existed within baseball are fascinating. For example, the black baseball league that existed in America, when racial segregation was implemented into baseball leagues. There were certain personalities who would be vocal about the prevalence of racism within American culture and sport.
Architecture is also a re-occurring theme in our brand mood. We take a lot inspiration from Mid Century – 1970s architecture with unique structures and forms, as you will see in our Instagram.
What did you find most challenging during the creation of GOOD NEWS?
One of the most challenging factors in creating a new footwear brand is finance. That’s why you don’t see many new footwear brands. Production and mold costs are quite hefty. Luckily we have a close working relationship with our factory who believe in our concept.
What are your personal favourite sneaker brands at the moment. If you weren’t wearing GOOD NEWS, what would we catch you in?
Strictly Good News at the minute we’re afraid and we’re not just saying that. I’m loving the baseball stripe as it’s just not been done before.
What do you make of the London sneaker scene at the moment, can you see any trends that may hit 2017 in a big way?
For the canvas pump market we were feeling Novesta last year but we feel the colours are too samey and not very fun. We’re loving the re-releases from the retro sports brands. Ie: Fila coming back with the Trail Blazers and the OG Fitness. All the work with Gosha Rubchinskiy is great. I think the retro sports / re-release trend is going to be big next year.
Can you give us a little insight into some of GOOD NEWS’ styles, and where can we find them?
Each iconic piece is named after a traditional baseball term; ‘RHUBARB’ is a term used to describe a baseball brawl, ‘HURLER’ the fast pitch, ‘CHOPPER’ a ball hit low, ‘BABE’ after legendary Babe Ruth and ‘SLUGGER’ after the ball is hit out of the park. HURLER is a traditional baseball stripe, which comes in white, black, pink and electric blue striped canvas with a natural rubber sole. BABE is a cotton canvas and nylon mix combining vibrant multi-coloured tones. CHOPPER is a style that uses clean nylons in baby pink, purple, khaki and navy for a more technical the prevalence of racism within American culture and sport. Like Cool Papa Bell below, who has since been inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. SLUGGER is an easily styled black canvas with a noticeable white lace or matching black laces.
Style and use of colour in baseball team kits and vintage trading cards play a big inspiration in our designs and moodboards.
The collection ranges from £50 for the low height styles, to £60 for high-tops and is available at www.goodnews.london from February 2017 as well as a limited number of UK independents, including Other Shop (Carnaby, London), Whistles (Shoreditch, London), Kicks Love (Deptford, UK), Pam Pam (Shoreditch, London), Stylecreep.com, The Business (Leicester).
Good News will also be launching exclusively in Journal Standard (Japan) and Inner (Milan).
What tips would you give to those aspiring to start their own brand?
Get your shit together and take action!
Words By: Elliot Jones
Answers and images supplied by: GOOD NEWS London