When Pointer hit the streets in 2004, it was the antithesis to a market that was saturated with increasingly technical trainers and hyped-up limited-edition sneakers. Nine years later, not much has changed. Athletic companies continue to churn out innovative product, sneakerheads will always camp out for days for limited-edition kicks and Pointer still makes simple, well-designed, casual footwear. “If you’re looking for flashy bells and whistles, you will most likely be driven towards different brands,” says Line Manager Alexander Bonk of the London-based brand’s relaxed aesthetic and interest in independent design.
“When Pointer started, most of our designs were done on vulcanized outsoles – interpretations of classic trainers and plimsolls. We then started exploring all kinds of different constructions and styles that appealed to us, often using traditional archetypes, twisting and blending designs to come up with something truly our own,” Bonk explains. To this end, Founder Gareth Skewis insists that all employees train at John Lobb, the legendary shoemaker of 180-plus years that handcrafts custom shoes for the British Royals. It appears to be paying off: “Since we constantly develop new concepts, our sales are not clustered on just a few styles – they’re usually spread out over the bigger part of the collection,” he says.
New to the family for Spring ’13 is the William style, Pointer’s take on an athletic-inspired construction using canvas and suede to maintain the low-fi character the brand is known for. Chester, a simplistic derby on a vulcanized outsole, has been reinterpreted using pattern-printed washed canvas as upper material, while Debaser, one of its iconic styles, is making a comeback with decorative moccasin stitching on the vamp.
Carried everywhere from W Hotels The Store to sneaker shops like New York’s Kith and Burn Rubber in Michigan, Pointer’s wholesale prices range from $32 to $85. “For next [fall], we’ve updated our materials a lot, offering waterproof full-grain leathers and suedes along with felt-fabrics, used on both uppers and linings,” Bonk reveals, adding that bright colors abound. “The line will be highly functional for the cold and wet months without looking techy at all and will also stand out color-wise from your typical shades of brown.” He adds, “We’ve upgraded quite a few long-running styles to further enhance value and appeal, while maintaining an analog feel, making the line essentially Pointer.”