Joe & Co x Gola Collaboration
I’ve been friends with the Gola guys for a while. A friendship formed on dance floors, industry trade shows, and a shared appreciation of the finer points of sartorial style. But we’ve never had the chance to work together, and we thought that now would be a good time to put that right.
As we explored the possibilities for the collaboration. We realised that the two brands had more in common than we thought. Aside from our shared British heritage. Gola was founded in Northampton in 1920 and was originally known as the Bozeat Boot Company.. (keep an eye for details of our other collaboration with another Northampton legendary Boot maker) .The company was built on traditional values and they created creating classic styles. Today, Gola remains proud of its humble origins, whilst also bringing a contemporary style to its classic designs. And whilst we may not share Gola's iconic legacy, we certainly share the same ethos to create classic design with a contemporary styling.
Collaboration Design Process
So with full access to Gola’s archives catalog including their vintage collection. We set about selecting the right style of footwear that would provide the “blank canvas” we need to encapsulate the styling inspiration for the collaboration.
As a clothing brand, it was important that the footwear silhouette had the right proportions and universal appeal. We wanted to create something that would complement any outfit and would appeal to all. When we clocked a High Top trainer silhouette lurking in the Gola vaults. We knew it was what we were looking for.
Gola's original design was reminiscent of the classic Basketball High Top trainer. We couldn't think of any other trainer with more universal appeal and style.
History of The High Top
The iconic Converse High Top or the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, began life as a professional Basketball shoe. The design we recognise today was developed by Chuck Taylor a part time Basketball player who worked as a Salesman for Converse.Chuck recommended improving the original design by adding ankle support. All-Star went on to dominate Basketball. But by 1979 they had all but disappeared from the professional Basketball scene.
Coincidentally, around the same time the High Top was becoming somewhat of a fashion statement. A cultural icon that represented individualism, anti-establishment, subculture trends, and coolness.
Favored by everybody from the 70's surfers, Hippies and punk movement and icons like Elvis, Kurt Cobain and Hunter S. Thompson.
Elvis Chilling in his Chucks.
Kurt Cobain rocking his All Stars
Hunter S. Thompson - essence of rebellious cool
The practical design, stylish appeal, and the cultural history of the High Top ensured its appeal for our collaboration!
The Joe and Co x Gola Design
Gola’s design was reminiscent of the classic High Top design. So the proportions were ideal for want we were wanting. It was just a case of introducing the collaborations styling cues.
We wanted to retain the classic styling, whilst creating a contemporary retro vibe. For inspiration, we looked at the styling cues of the original Basketball High Top. To achieve the retro vibe, we introduced the ankle and heel patches. These features were added later to the original High Top design.
We’ve incorporated the Joe & Co logo into the heel patch design. We think the detailing will look really cool if you like wearing a shorter trouser leg. The retro vibe continues with the heel patch, we’ve added Joe & Co to the patch using a traditional classic retro font.
And to bring the styling cues together we’ve added our signature hint of red by adding a single red eyelet. We’ve been adding a hint of red to our clobber since 2010 (but that’s another story), we’ll share it with you one day!
The addition of the red eyelet was also inspired by the cultural status of the High Top as symbol of non conformist and individualism.
As a baby of the 60’s and a child of the 70’s I grew up with Gola. So it's a bit surreal to now be working with this iconic British brand and creating a classic High Top trainer to complement our ever-expanding brand of timeless British quality clobber.
I only hope you enjoy them as much, as we enjoyed creating them for you, and shout out to the guys at Gola it was a pleasure.