This third pick of a character that shaped my childhood, and in a roundabout way of which they’re pleasantly oblivious landed me in the “career” where I currently dwell came about through unpleasant circumstances; the death of Sinisa Eglia last week, the man who made Airwalk good prior to its crumble into the cut-price phantom zone.
I loved Airwalk for a few years – even the colourways were influential but in line with Syd Field’s ‘Screenplay’ which espouses a dated formula, his paradigm rings true for this fallen brand –in the beginning, it’s 1986, and Bill Mann starts a shoe company. Plot Point 1 sees Sinisa recruited from a skatepark. Plot Point 2 sees the brand flourish, implementing the young man’s ideas before the company changes tact after Mann leaves. The ending is the shoes entering the mid ’90s as the official shoe of ‘The Next Karate Kid’… Someone needs to make an Airwalk documentary.
I never got to meet Sinisa, but Mr. Wood at Sneaker Freaker confirmed that he was quite a character, and his interview for the magazine remains a fascinating cautionary tale for startups everywhere, shoe-orientated or otherwise.