Sung Choi, the founder of Clae sneakers, has stepped back into the role of creative director for the brand. Having originally founded Clae back in 2001, Choi left in 2017 before recently deciding that now is the perfect time to make his return. He recognizes that the sneaker market has undergone significant shifts since his departure and wants Clae to cater to the growing demand for understated, well-designed, and versatile premium footwear.

Choi brings a wealth of experience to the table, with an extensive background in the sneaker industry. Throughout his career, he has worked with renowned brands such as DC Shoes, Lakai Footwear, and Studio Southpaw. Choi has also collaborated with notable names like K-Swiss, Huf Worldwide, DKNY, Supreme, Stussy, and Sergio Tacchini. Jim Bartholet, the CEO of Clae, admires Choi’s unique talent for translating ideas and concepts into globally resonating products and stories.

As the new creative director, Choi’s main objective is to establish Clae as a leading presence in the lifestyle footwear category through innovative design and the use of cutting-edge materials. He wants to prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly options to cater to consumers with diverse lifestyles. Recognizing the growing concern for sustainability, Clae has already taken steps in the right direction by introducing eco-materials and implementing sustainable manufacturing processes.

In a notable move last year, Clae gained attention by revealing its first Los Angeles-assembled sneaker, the Louie, which was crafted at the state-of-the-art knitwear manufacturing facility, KX Lab. Additionally, the brand launched a range of plant-based sneakers made from cactus and apple fibers, further solidifying its commitment to sustainable practices.

In exciting news, Choi has also announced an upcoming collaboration with bike brand Linus Bikes. This collaboration seeks to promote greener forms of transportation. Furthermore, Choi is working on a running shoe in partnership with Vibram, set to be released for the fall/winter 2024 season. He promises that there will be more surprises in store as the year progresses.

With Choi’s return and his vision for Clae, the brand is poised to make a significant impact in the industry by offering high-quality, sustainable, and stylish footwear options. As Clae continues to innovate and align itself with the demands of environmentally conscious consumers, it is sure to secure a prominent place in the market.

Useful links:
1. Clae Official Website
2. Vibram Official Website