Along with Emerica, Altamont Apparel and éS, California-based Etnies is another of the brands owned and distributed by former pro freestyle skater Pierre André Sénizergues’s Sole Technology, Inc. Founded by Sénizergues in 1986, Etnies claims to have been the first skateboarder-owned and operated global action sports footwear and apparel brand.
The company sponsors a world class team of professional skateboarders such as Cairo Foster, Ryan Sheckler, Tyler Bledsoe, Willow, Nick Garcia, Julian ‘Juju’ Davidson, Albert Nyberg, Aidan Campbell and David Reyes. Etnies’ UK riders include Barney Page, who secured his place on the team as a relative unknown with some solid skating at the 2009 War of the Thistles.
Etnies not only pushed the envelope by creating the first pro model skate shoe (the hi-top ‘Natas’ in 1988), but, over the years, it has also pioneered a number of technological advances. After being introduced to the US in 1994, when it concentrated primarily on lo-tops, some of the company’s most famous models have been Sal Barbier’s ‘Sal 23’ in 1994 and the Jordan-inspired ‘SLB’ in 1995, Mike Vallely’s signature model in 2000, and Sheckler’s currently available ‘Marana’.
Vallely featured in the 2000 Etnies documentary Sponsored. In recent years, there has been a series of quality tour and contest films such as Sangria Nights (2009) and We’re Waiting On You, Dude (2011). In 2013, Brit Barney Page had his first major street part overseas in the am video AB&A with Sweden’s Albert Nyberg and Belgium’s Axel Cruysberghs.