In Part 1 of our conversation with Jesse Villanueva, the Alife Marketing Director reflected on Alife Rivington Club’s history, as well as the role it played in the growth of sneaker culture in the early aughts. Part 2 finds Jesse delving deep into his chosen area of expertise, commenting on two of the heaviest hitters in the game. He lauds Nike for being on the forefront of innovation (the brand “introduces technology,” he says), to such an extent that it forces its competitors to keep pace. Regarding a former chief rival to the Swoosh, Jesse observes that Reebok has capitalized on the public’s hunger for retro releases from the mid to late ’90s. “They released the product that people wanted at the time that they wanted it,” he says.
Shifting his focus to the current state of sneaker culture, Jesse makes the point that its longevity is virtually guaranteed. “As long as you have to wear things on your feet to walk out the door,” he laughs, “there’s always going to be sneakers.” He sees increased open-mindedness in today’s sneaker consumer, the upshot being that the marketplace is able to accommodate both classic and forward-looking styles. It’s what we all want, he concludes: “A better day, and a better pair of shoes.” Enjoy Part 2 of our conversation with Jesse Villanueva above.
- Production & Interview by: Yu-Ming Wu / Intro: John Kim