These sneakers are purpose-built for the hustle, the grind, the journey of building your business and brand. Whether you’re in the office, entertaining a client, or running through the airport, you’re never clocked out and constantly on your feet. Here is your versatile shoe, blending all-day comfort with sophisticated style.
My role with this project was to bring it alive and make it exciting. I thought of a concept where we would photograph each of the The Startup Entrepreneurs in their own scenarios, cut them out and drop them into a graphic world surrounded by their favorite elements. The design system would have to work in various colors, shapes, and mediums.
These graphics were then used all around for advertisements, video animations, web design elements, and wherever the shoe would be available.
All photography and design is made by myself, the videography and editing is made by Mason Tompkins. Shoe designs by James Hansen and the K-Swiss product design team. Concept by Barney Waters.
In-House @ K-Swiss
Step 1. BUILD HYPE
Our marketing team started to build hype and bring value to the local entrepreneur community by hosting a series of events at the DTLA offices.
These free sessions started the introduction of other entrepreneurs than Gary Vee to the K-Swiss roster.
Step 2. BEING TRANSPARENT
Inspired by others in the industry, the decision was made to showcase transparent pricing and how the materials are sourced.
This was to be transparent to the customers but to also show entrepreneurs how we do business.
Step 3. DESIGN SYSTEM
As the product launched we added in more entrepreneurs for each colorway that came out. Each entrepreneur got their own "pro" sneaker this way as skateboarders do. Their fans were able to shop something they normally would not be able to.
After the first three, the direction was to clean up the designs for a more minimal look.
Brand Font: INTERSTATE
Took the gradients and graphic elements from the main design system and through simple combinations got the ad banners quickly delivered.
Colors: MUCH GRADIENTS
Adobe introduced a new gradient tool, and this was a great project to test it out. Each color way got it's own gradient background and it became one of the unifying graphic elements through out the different entrepreneurs and can be continued as much as one wants.
Testing out the idea of floating shoes with our group of talent surrounding it. And not forgetting their personal items.
Ads & Banners: KEEP IT FUN
I wanted the ads to be colorful so that they would stand out in the sites where we had bought ad space. Colorful floating shoes definitely caught some eyes as the shoes sold out.
“Risk has to do with leaving something comfortable behind, and getting into the unknown territory.” - Jordan Harbinger. Risk is a major key in entrepreneurship.
Just like the saying goes, "take the risk or lose the chance", you must take the risk to find out what is on the other side of fear.
On this profile, we highlight podcast pioneer Jordan Harbinger as he shares his view on Risk in the entrepreneur world. What does Risk mean to you?
We flew to an undisclosed location in the US to shoot with Jordan and got to see his studio where all the magic happens. We photographed him on his rooftop and found out about the true superstar. Momo! Their lovely cat who Jordan wanted to join the cover shoot.
I also learned that Momo means Peaches in Japanese.
Ambition is one of the major keys to entrepreneurship. Without ambition and action, you will never know your full potential.
In this profile, photographer Erick Hercules shares how his ambition allowed him to become more self-aware with where he wanted to be in life and how he was going to achieve his goals.
What does ambition mean to you?
Follow Erick on Instagram
The levitating king of New York City. We took to a rooftop overlooking the city and photographed Erick levitating as the sun set behind the city.
Erick had a lot of items that are important for him so we picked the ones that were most important to him.
Weather you're an entrepreneur or not, vision is an important part of life. As Sharifa says, “If you don’t have a vision, you really don’t have a plan”.
#TheStartup sneaker is not only designed to provide you with all day comfort and style, but it also has the word "Vision" stitched on the inside tongue to remind you to always have a vision.
Lace up, dream big, and execute in The Startup sneakers. The official footwear of entrepreneurs.
Follow Sharifa Murdock on Instagram
Myself and Mason Tompkins, our videographer, flew out to New York and got to visit Sharifa's offices as they were busy ENVSN Festival we were lucky to get a moment of her time to get this interview.
We found a space in the building for the photoshoot and got her favorite items included with the cover art.
“Having confidence is important in business because you need to have good eye contact and communication. People see when you're nervous and are about to break down” - Andy Nguyen Confidence unlocks hidden potential. True confidence lets you know one thing, "You got this" .
On this profile, we highlight serial entrepreneur Andy Nguyen as he shares why confidence is important in business. What does Confidence mean to you?
Visited Andys shop in Los Angeles to photograph all the delicious ice cream donuts you see in the images. My belly hurt after eating them all... But it was worth it!
We interviewed Andy at his OC location, but wanted to capture the elements he is originally known for. So I headed out to Afters Ice Cream and photographed a bunch of delicious ice cream cookies. With my belly and dropped them into Photoshop to become the platform that Andy is standing on.
I definitely ate too much that day.
Believe in yourself more with the new Court Pro Startup “Self-Belief” colorway. Designed for the modern entrepreneur. Michaela Alexis is a leading millennial LinkedIn expert, speaker, trainer, and entrepreneur. In March 2016, Michaela’s article about landing her dream job went viral on Linkedin.
Since then, she has replicated her viral success with multiple articles about her experiences in the business world. Michaela’s articles have been featured and published in CNBC, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, The Muse, PR Daily, and more.
Armed with just a tiny dry erase board and her writing skills, Michaela has gained over 100,000 LinkedIn followers and garnering over half a million views on photo updates that bravely document her career journey
As we got to know Michaela at the shoot, we found out that she absolutely loves coffee. Like very much. As we found a bath tub at the location, we decided, let's use that as a prop and make it into a coffee fountain to make it super personal for here as it's her commercial.
(English, Finnish, Swedish)