This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street.

A few weeks ago, I did an article a few weeks ago about some cool sneaker brands that are not as well known as NIKE, adidas, Jordan Brand, Reebok, etc.

One of those brands, ARC Originals, reached back out to me after that article was posted and, much like the time I reached out to Jon Tang of Fronteer.

In this interview, Austin (the founder and CEO of ARC Originals) and I talk about Scotland, Youtube, and making a shoe happen.

As always, leave a comment on the article at the bottom!

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(All photos are from Austin Yale.)

Tell us who you are and where you are from?

My name is Austin Yule, I am 23 years old and I from Aberdeen, Scotland. I am the owner of Scotland’s first (currently only) ever sneaker brand – Arc Originals.

Please give us the history on how you got into sneakers and sneaker culture.
My passion for sneakers started when I was 16 years old when I had just started playing basketball and found that sneakers were a huge part of the culture. I was looking at sneaker reviews on Youtube while I was trying to pick out my first basketball shoe and came across a Youtuber called Nightwing2303, who had done a review on the Air Jordan 3 “True Blue” and from the moment I saw that shoe I was pulled towards sneakers. That Jordan 3 was the first ever sneaker I had purchased with my own money, which I had saved up from doing a paper round after school and on weekends.
Back then was pretty much right when the whole hypebeast movement was picking up so I was lucky enough to be able to cop the True Blues before things got mad and would sell out instantly.  As I got older, my collection grew bigger and I was able to expand into different brands outside of basketball sneakers like Asics, New Balance, Vans etc. which broadened my outlook on sneaker culture.
How did you come up with the idea to get into the sneaker design and production business?
I graduated from college in 2015 where I studied engineering and got my diploma, but I found it to be incredibly hard to even just get an interview for a job without any experience. So after being put down so much, I decided to just take a year out and try something new. The idea first came to me in January 2016, when one night I found myself feeling particularly creative.
I just sat down and began to sketch a basketball sneaker and then started to research how sneakers are made by watching Youtube videos and reading articles online. I then began to start researching manufacturers and trying to find out how I could get my own sneaker made.
After a lot of dead-end contacts, I was finally able to find one suitable enough for me to get a sample made. Once I got that first sample in hand – even though it wasn’t perfect – I felt like I had something worth pursuing.
ARC ORIGINALS: What’s the inspiration behind the shoe? 

The inspiration behind the design of The Outset comes from classic, 90’s style runners. They are what I find to be the best style of sneaker at the moment so I wanted a shoe that would embody that. The Inspiration for the debut colourway was based on my hometown of Aberdeen aka “The Granite City” and the famous Scottish Highlands. I felt this colourway would be the best way to kick-start Scotland’s first ever sneaker brand.
What was the timeline of the shoe from idea to development to production?
All in all, the process has taken me about 2 years from idea to final product. It took me a few months to come up with the design for The Outset as I had lots of ideas in my head for where I wanted to go with the shoe, from a more modern knit construction to the classic runner style I ended up choosing.
The sampling stage is where a large majority of the time was spent. Getting the fit right and figuring out what materials work well together was something I wanted to take my time on and as I am always looking to improve, the development is more of an ongoing process but, in total it has taken me over a year to create and produce The Outset “Vol. 1” which was released in November 2017.
What can we expect from ARC ORIGINALS in the future? Collab with Hanon?
In the near future, you can expect to see a lot more original colourways of The Outset. We have some pretty cool concepts planned for this year so keep your eyes peeled for those. Further than this year though we definitely plan on keeping things fresh and introducing new silhouettes to our brand. A collab with Hanon would obviously be an amazing step for Arc, being that we are Scotland’s first sneaker brand and located in the same city as them, so that is definitely a goal of ours. Hopefully, we can collab with places all over and put Scotland on the sneaker map.
How can someone get a pair of these shoes? (Unfortunately, they are sold out in my size, which is a size 9 US).
We sell our products exclusively on our website: www.arcoriginals.com

What practical advice do you have for the youth who may be reading this that wants to design their own shoes?

My advice would be to just go for it, as long as you are creative and passionate about it then I feel it’s worth pursuing. It is always going to be a learning process so I think the earlier you start the better. I never came from a design background so all of my knowledge has come from years of being a consumer and just trying things. I think the most important thing is to just try.

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