Life + Times Interviews Brandblack Founder David Raysse

It feels like the footwear market has been long dominated by the same parties, backed by million-dollar marketing plans, performance science of some variety, and strategic partnerships. David Raysse’s Brandblack may not have the same market clout as its competitors, but given that the brand launched only in April 2014 – its core identity is titillatingly impressive. Now poised to launch the second professional model for Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, Raysse hopes that his extensive knowledge will continue to disrupt the sportswear market in 2015. Here the Brandblack founder speaks to Life + Times, touching on his experiences with FILA, Sean John, and adidas, experimenting with exciting new materials (leather that breathes!), and more. Enjoy a key excerpt of truth below, then head to Life + Times’ website for the full feature.
L+T: Talk about the FUTURELEGENDS collection that has some of everything, apparel, shoes, etc.
DR: Well the name came from a David Bowie song on the album Diamond Dogs, and we liked the idea because it’s what we aspire to be. I think it reflects the mindset of trying to do things that are timeless. It’s not so much about us thinking that we’re future legends, but in order to be a future legend all of your work has to be as good as it can be, it can’t just be disposable short-term music, art or whatever. Our first collection that we put together had a lifestyle and a performance segment. Then we came to the realization that if Brandblack is about marrying those two together, then the shoes and apparel should always be both. So, all the apparel in the FUTURELEGENDS collection is both fashionable and performing. Aesthetically, it’s gotten a lot more futuristic and dark and there a lot of new, innovative materials on there that you’ve seen in fashion but actually are perfect for performance. Using the kind of mesh that you use on running shoes on sweatshirts, so it kind of has the look of an old P.E. sweatshirt but it’s actually made out of really technical mesh that you would see on performance shoes. We’ve got a basketball top and bottom that is made out of a micro-fiber that’s been embossed and looks just like leather, but 100 percent moisture-wicking performance micro-fiber material. So, we’re really excited about that, it’s a nice balance for the footwear.