A word from our new Head of Footwear Design, Greg Cordeiro
I always wanted to design cars. But I quickly learned those individuals are a special breed, and that industry probably wasn’t the best fit for me anyway. What I find interesting is the parallels between car and sneaker design. Car designers like to sketch sneaker designs, while sneaker designers like to sketch car designs. I guess that makes sense since the success of both weighs heavily on construction and performance.
Regardless of what I wanted to design and create, I knew there would be opportunity from studying industrial design—where you can create anything from a cup to a car. After a few internship stints, I landed at Puma and fell in love with footwear. Luckily for me, I now get to help construct some blueprints that will take footwear to the next level.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE YORK ATHLETICS FAM?
Aside from the remarkable team behind the scenes, the actual product and story tied to it is limitless. No matter what you do with a product design, you must keep turning the dial to advance it and keep it relevant. At YORK, we have a story we must continually tell for those who’ve yet to discover us, and a story to keep adding to for our loyal consumers. We can’t deviate too far. What we have isn’t broken, so why fix it? I’m just excited to help enhance and leverage what our enthusiasts already love the most – breathability, versatility, and support needed to celebrate the everyday fighter on their journey towards personal growth.
Working with YORK Athletics offers a big opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people I respect, but also for me to put my touch on what I think can be helpful to advance the product.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS TO ENHANCE OUR FOOTWEAR DESIGN?
As a footwear product designer by trade and at heart, I want to elevate the minimal design aesthetic, honing in on being that go-to pure performance brand. The YORK Athletics approach to product design is simple: no compromise on performance, but a clean and intentionally understated look by only focusing on what is necessary.
How do we up-level our superior, breathable, lightweight fit and form in the future? For me, it’s owning what’s already worked for us as a brand, maintaining that integrity, and highlighting those key differentiators in a saturated athletic market.
For instance, Spring 2022 has some supercharged plans in place. I’ll be focused on infusing more life into the Henry and Frank. With the right innovative technology, we’ll have arrows in our quiver to share with the world why YORK is synonymous with high performance. As we move further, it will be about supplementing the line with products that have that same cohesive design language from technology to aesthetic, so it allows us to grow and establish ourselves. How we stand out is going to be important.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IN THE FOOTWEAR WORLD?
I love learning new stuff everyday. From traveling to factories, meeting suppliers, examining materials, it’s a constant evolution. Add in today’s proponents on sustainability, we are on the brink of some crazy innovations with technology and how it pertains to footwear. There are so many different avenues to walk with footwear. We have to continue to push what that means with our carbon footprint.
I think the fundamentals also keep me going. I guess you could say I look up to the trailblazers of my craft—like Tinker Hatfield, the OG sneaker head who paved the way for sneaker design and was the mastermind behind Nike’s Air Max 1 and Air Jordan. That’s not to say big box brands have all the glory. For me, it's about the craft of footwear and knowing the constructions to make it the best possible product.
OUTSIDE OF WORK, WHAT DO YOU FIGHT FOR?
I’m a big fly fisherman. I love being on the water and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Otherwise, general health and well being is something I believe in for all. That’s why I love YORK. They believe in any opportunity to better yourself. For me, supporting causes that support all underdogs is important. That aligns with YORK. We are everyday fighters and people who want to better ourselves, the people around us, and our community.
I want to give our customers an unsurpassed footwear experience – by offering them the things you come to expect out of a high performance sneaker like comfort, style, individuality, and functionality. I can’t wait for the ability to help people move further, faster, and more comfortably through their everyday grind, without compromising the fighting spirit to be fit for whatever the day throws at them.