Forge Poise: The Interview
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Forge Poise, how would you best describe the brand?
We believe in connecting cultures and opening consumer’s minds to experimenting with fashion. Combining tailored style and streetwear, and fusing them together with a contemporary edge, Forge Poise speaks to and connects with the urban dwelling, adventurous youth. Crafted from the highest quality materials, we seamlessly blend tailored elegance with streetwear trends to create a look that is as versatile as it is contemporary. Our footwear expresses the individuality of the wearer in a way that no other can. We have styles ranging from minimal to vibrant, we aspire to create elegance and break the mold with daring footwear.
Where did the concept behind the designs come from?
With Wall Street at one end and Harlem the other, Manhattan Island is home to one of the wildest cultural mixes in the world. This was the inspirational starting point for us. The name comes from synonyms of ‘Creating Elegance’ and the trademark sword is an inspiration of ‘forging’ your own styles and trends to challenge the norm.
So the brains behind the brand comes from yourselves, Ross and Ryan – how’s it been working together, brothers and now business partners?
Working together outside of our relationship as brothers has been a new but great experience. Our relationship has and is constantly evolving since we founded the brand. We are looking forward to bringing the combined experience of our relationship and our own individual styles, trends and opinions to the brand’s core values. We are already constantly looking to innovate, listening to our customers and the market to ensure our footwear not only stays on trend but also offers our audience the ability to create their own style.
We work great together as a team however this isn’t necessarily due to being brothers but our difference in trends, ideas and bringing them together to ensure our footwear and brand does not follow the paths already set in the industry. Ross leans more to the contemporary design and trends introducing minimalism into the designs and brand ethos, whereas Ryan is and always has been a lover of the versatile trends that break the current molds that society directs us to. Long and truthful – sometimes initially frustrating – discussions and design meetings end up with results which we are proud to say represent the brand.
What have been your biggest challenges so far as a new brand for 2018?
The biggest challenges have been learning the industry and the culture behind it, in order to be able to produce the best and most premium footwear we can. We produce our footwear in a family-owned factory on the outskirts of Porto. They are all handmade by the highest skilled (and friendliest) people who genuinely love what they are creating. It was a challenge in the first 18 months to be able to find this factory and create a relationship where they understand exactly what our vision and brand ethos are.
If you had to describe your target audience in three words, what would they be?
Expressive, Free-thinking, Bold.
How does Forge Poise fill the current gap between streetwear and luxury fashion?
We have realised a shift in the market, moving towards consumers looking for higher quality and more exclusive designs but at an attainable price. Our drive comes from the opportunity to harmonise the cultures of underground streetwear with elegant, tailored quality and contemporary design. We have scoured the market over our years as addictive sneaker and footwear consumers and have spotted a gap in the market for footwear that can be both dressed down and paired with formal attire, and have now been able to gain industry knowledge, connections and most importantly the passion to turn this vision into reality.
Where do you see the brand in a few years time?
We see our brand gaining the traction that will enable us to connect with the youthful and adventurous people of the world. Forge Poise aims to become a pioneer in our industry, blending cultures to create distinct and versatile footwear. We are seeking out those who want to be expressive, not let others define them and challenge the conventional. This can only be achieved by breaking into contemporary fashion and streetwear markets, being able to connect these cultures and empower people globally to push not only the boundaries of fashion, but themselves.
What are the next steps for Forge Poise in 2018?
With unisex designs, the footwear appeals to both genders and in future lines there will be gender specific styles. The brand will be known for their footwear, recognisable by a trademarked pointed heel and piped toe cap, which once established in this sector will look to expand ranges into clothing. At the heart of the Forge Poise brand is a pioneering desire to challenge the norm and set new trends, and as such we will always look to the future in an attempt to stay ahead of curve in design and product offering. Forge Poise is laying the groundwork to position itself as a global leader in this new and niche marketplace of higher quality and more exclusive designs but at an attainable price.