Clae has been on my periphery for nigh on ten years now, a rather long time considering the fast changing times we live in. That it would take over 8 years for a serious examination of the brand, and that my fascination and appreciation of Clae over this time would not only wane but also increase, is unusual.
I am as guilty of a short attention span as most people with a serious case of ADD- or as I call it, a brain able to think of many things at once. Clae managed to catch and maintain my attention over this time in a way that is not really done anymore by genuinely focusing on bringing out directional, high quality and affordable footwear and without giving too much away, and that’s putting it lightly.
Trying to get an interview out of Sung Choi, the founder and Creative Director of Clae, is akin to winning the lottery. His reluctance to live in public and go down the route of over-marketing is based on his firm belief that the product should speak for itself, and it does. It’s just that writers and editors like myself find it easier to access brands and people with a blanket-warfare approach to marketing, mostly because we are impatient and lazy- Obviously, his concept worked.
Now in its 10th year of existence, Clae has quietly grown to a strong, directional and well placed footwear brand that can hold its own. Judging by what Clae released several years ago and what is now available on the footwear market, it is clear that Clae will and has maintained its strong roots in good design, ever looking forward without losing a grip on reality. Below is an interview I conducted over some time with Sung about his brand and how he sees the world.