Ektio – Omar Bailey
We managed to catch up with our boy, Omar Bailey, who's the designer responsible for these Ektio sneaks.
CK - Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Omar Bailey and I am originally from new york city, but was raised inwest palm beach Florida. I went to a visual and performance arts middle and high school called the Dreyfoos school of the arts, which led me to the college for creative studies in Detroit michigan where I majored industrial design. 2 years later I transferred to the university of CINCINNATI were I continued studying ID, but the real reason why I transferred was because of there cooperative learning program which grants you 6 paid internships through the course of 3 years. Once I transferred my first internship was with new balance in Boston mass, followed by K-Swiss in southern California, Adidas in Portland Oregon, hewlett Packard, m3 design, and Faulkner design. After my last internship I decided to start my own footwear design business right out of school called the bright idea design studios (www.brightideadesigninc.com). While struggling as a Entrepreneur I also worked for timberland in NYC designing kids shoes for year before they laid me off. At that time I was ready to continue with my business as I have built a network and capacity within it giving me the confidents to move forward on my own.
6 years later I am still running the same business that I started in 2006 and now offer many more services and have had clients such as t pain, Gary Sheffield, the roots, Allan Houston, jermaine oneal, jayz, and more. My companies services has expanded to footwear development, commercialization, production, and general consulting for marketing, branding, sales, merchandising, and line building. Currently I make shoes for my clients in Brazil, China, and I am also involved in a very special situation were I am also making shoes in the United states (I can't say much more than that right now). I travel often for developing shoes, and spend lots of time at tradeshows. My goal with my business is to continue building the brands that I have developed with current clients into even bigger brands, and continue working with new clients whom desire the same thing. The plan is as the brands get bigger this will free up more of my time to speak to young people, and give workshops to those who are willing to listen which is something that I currently do
CK - What is Ektio?
Ektio Is patented strap technology which its intended propose is to reduce akle sprains and injuries. Dr Katz (founder) decided to start with basketball as he saw the opportunity to make a difference in this sector due to so many ankle injuries each year. It took aprox 2 years, tones of sampling, product testing, numerous trips to china and of course allot of money to get business started. There is nothing easy about starting a brand, but it's the passion, commitment, and dedication that gets you through it. Currently the shoes are selling in both brick and mortar and ecommerse. We just finished our fall 2012 line which will be available later this year on Ektio.com
and other select retailers.
CK - What inspired this design?
What inspired me about this product is its owner. Dr. Barry Katz whom came to me with his partner and presented this challenge to me to create a design around there patented technology. Doing what I do and not having much of a blue print to follow I've learned over the years that you don't meet many people who are willing to put everything they have emotionally, mentally, physically, and monetarily into something that there not sure is going to work or fail. I was excited by his enthusiasm and commitment to making this happen, and when you have clients like that it makes your job a whole lot easier and makes you want to do everything you can to see it through and become successful.
CK - What do you like best about them?
I love how lightweight they are. I play ball myself and I wear them all the time. At first glance they look very heavy because of the straps which there is now way around that because it's was gives the shoe it's value, but once someone picks it up there always shocked by light they are.
CK - What are your favorite pair of shoes ever made?
My favorite shoes are the air penny 1 and air Jordan 11 of which I own both and don't wear very often.
You can pick up a pair of Ektio's over on Eastbay
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