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Interview with Brandon & Josh Brubaker of Clear Weather

Clear Weather is a brand that popped up on my radar some time ago and has continued to grow and evolve with every passing season. They also recently revealed their latest silhouette, the Convx, which features a boat hull inspired outsole and an assymetrical lacing system. Pretty much as soon as I saw that, I knew I had to try and reach out, because they’re clearly not fkn around.
Both Brandon and Josh were kind enough to give me some of their time to answer a few question about Clear Weather, as well as themselves. From how they got involved in the industry (both are industry vets, btw) and what inspires them, to how many sample rounds they typically go through and what to expect in the future, check out the interview with brothers, Brandon & Josh Brubaker, founders of Clear Weather, below.
 

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How did you both get into footwear?

Brandon – In 1994 I met a Cat that was running VANS at that time, He asked me to draw a Shoe and come up and interview. As a result of them liking what I did , They offered me a Design position . I quit college and have been Designing footwear ever since.

Josh – In 1994 I was 12 years old when my brother got his job at Vans, I started drawing shoes that year and never stopped. A couple years
after high school I went to FIDM to study Graphic Design in 2002.
 
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What made you guys want to create your own footwear brand?

Brandon – We both have been designing shoes for a combined 30+ years and just got fed up with all the (Footwear Rules) and opinions that come along with working for big companies. That being said we appreciate everything we learned. It was just time for us both to execute our vision unfiltered by a comity that always seems to stifle the process.
 
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Its great to see the brand moving forward and progressing with every passing season, your latest runner style with an asymmetric lacing structure for example, is a personal favorite and is straight up beautiful, what was the inspiration for that particular style?

Brandon – We where on our way back from Catalina Island shooting our spring 2015 look book on our buddy Chucks boat in the Newport harbor, Josh saw one of the new Super Speed Yacht’s and called it out! It would be dope to do an outsole that utilizes the Hull shape and follows the lines into the upper. The Convx was born from that trip.
 
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How many rounds does it normally take you to nail a concept?

Brandon – All depends on the design. It is super important that the factory knows you and your design style (aesthetic). Our designs are pretty simple, which is the most difficult thing for factories, a pattern being off by 2 mm and can change the compostiton. We are fortunate to be factory direct and personally know our factory owners and the development team that is responsible for our sampling and production which gives us an advantage.
 
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It’s also refreshing to see a new brand create their own sole tooling at such an early stage, do you have more unique sole designs in the works?

Brandon – We knew from the beginning we wanted to create our own tool. If you really think about the “classics,” the outsole tooling is a staple in the design.
Also, everyone uses the same Italian cup that is too low and played out. We have been designing shoes for to long to launch a brand using an existing outsole.
Josh – Yes, We are launching the Convx that features a new casual tech tool. We also have a new trainer inspired tool in the works for SS17 that will cover a void in our line. Stay tuned.
 
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What can we expect from you in the near future?

Brandon – Expanding our silhouettes into a wider range of categories.
Josh – Just to keep pushing Design and Craftsmanship, get better every season.
 
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How do you feel about the current state of the footwear industry?

Brandon – We feel that Sneakers have been dominated by the huge corporations for so long, people are looking for something new and original.
We know we have to be unique and familiar at the same time, and we are ready to fight for our place in the industry.

What inspires you both?

Family, Friends, Freedom
 
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Can you describe the brand in 3 words?

Independent / Vision / Composition

Any advice to anyone trying to create their own footwear brand?

Brandon – Go work for a big company and learn everything you can on someone else’s dime.

 

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Mr. Bailey

Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | Instagram @MrBailey_ | www.MrBailey.co.uk