Worn Out Wednesday – Scott Milden
Today we speak to the man who relaunched the Original Chippewa heritage collection, Scott Milden. Here is a how he started in his own words as well as a bit about his personal style:
What started my career was the day I received my first skateboard around the age of 11. My first “real”skateboard was a metallic silver Powell Perelta, Mike McGill with Independent trucks, with I think black Rat Bones wheels and Swiss bearing (But the wheels could have been later), not to mention the rails, nose guard, lapper and skid plate (All Powell). What I mean by a “real”skateboard is that it was the first board that I was able to pick each of the parts separately. This is important because it is my first memory of having the opportunity to be an individual and express my personality and creativity through my choice of products, and discovering my love for authenticity, design, and product creation.
By the early 90s I was starting my career in Orange County, California as a freelance graphic designer. I was pumping out logos and T-shirts for little start-up brands at the time like Volcom, Mantra Optics, Special Blend, Joyride Snowboards, and Bear Surf wear.
In 1993, I took the remaining funds my folks set aside for college and founded theMovement Snowboards. The brand was noted as one of the first independent and art-oriented snowboard brands. It was a team focused, with its catalogs featuring art and photography of the world than information pertaining to snowboarding or the company’s products. A very expensive art project…but a great education!
By 1997 the writing was on the wall and theMovement was coming to its’ artful end. I had befriended Eric Meyer, the founder of Simple Shoes. Eric invited me to join him at Simple (Deckers Outdoor Corp.) and I worked my way up from the marketing department to the Design Manager working on all the brands, including Simple, Teva and UGG. UGG was only $10M in sales at that time. I always say that Deckers gave me my Masters Degree in Footwear. I did everything there from going on product development trips to China to being part of product presentations to Nordstrom. But most importantly, I met my beautiful wife, the shoe designer Angela Scott. http://www.theofficeofangelascott.com
Eric and I would sit on his front patio overlooking the Santa Barbara coastline discussing a new concept, a modernist brand that would pull its influences from creativity itself. We were aware of this new developing consumer, the Cultural Creative. At the time this unidentified developing market was made up of people who were influenced by and interested in design, architecture, technology, and creativity in general. By 2002 all of our ideas and market influences came together to create this new idea…MEDIUM Footwear.
At MEDIUM we created shoes for the Creative Class as the target audience. We collaborated with some of the best creative brands to create some unique products, including Adobe Systems, House Industries, and Dwell Magazine. By the end of 2006, MEDIUM was purchased by Pentland Brands Plc., a UK based global brand Management Company involved in the sports, outdoor, and fashion markets. Their portfolio of brands includes Speedo, Boxfresh, Berhaus, Hunter Boots, & Ted Baker. Soon after, the new owners chose to shelve the MEDIUM brand…C’est la Vie.
After that I relocated to Dallas, Texas to be a Senior Creative Director at FOSSIL, launching Fossil Footwear. While I was at FOSSIL, we collaborated with Justin Boots on a FOSSIL Cowboy Boot. While visiting the boot company, I discovered Justin Brands also owned this little diamond in the rough…Chippewa Boot Co., selling rugged outdoor shoes and some vintage models in Japan. I begged them to hire me to launch the Chippewa heritage collection worldwide. After about a year of talking, in April of 2012, I joined Justin Brands as Vice President of International Operation, overseeing all the international brand sales and the launch of the ORIGINAL CHIPPEWA heritage collection.
ORIGINAL CHIPPEWA is a blend of modern durability found in contemporary outdoor products combined with the heritage and authenticity of American craftsmanship and work ethic. The initial collection launch was Fall 2013 with a handful of premium retailers around the world. For 2014 we will be delivering the Archive collection. The ORIGINAL CHIPPEWA Archive Collection is a selection of re-issued historical boots and shoes that have defined the Chippewa brand. Each boot in the collection is selected and named for it’s unique place in Chippewa history. Archive Boots are reproduced using traditional materials like Horween leather and vintage Vibram® outsoles. The boots are manufactured in limited production using traditional techniques and are all hand crafted in the U.S.A.
As for my personal style, I appreciate authentic things… German cars, American Jeans and Chinese running shoes (I’m a Nike guy). I like a mix of outdoor/athletic-tech with authentic silhouettes for a modern American style.
Jeans: Jean Shop–Slim Fit Indigo (I am very loyal) I think the Jean shop is the most authentic contemporary denim brand. One shop, not chasing trends, just doing what they do.
Pants: Not usually.
Suits: Some from a local custom tailor, mostly sport coats with jeans, my favorite is Thom Browne coat in a battle ship grey color.
Outerwear: I live in Patagonia Puffers in all shapes, full zip, pullover, hooded…I’m a bit of a junkie. Also love my 1970s Levis pile lined sherpa denim trucker jacket. I like that itsays “made in San Francisco” on the tag.
Favorite piece of technology: I love the Nest for the home, just installed one a couple of months ago. Get one!
Next tech purchase: I need a new iPhone.