Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ryz Up: Interactive Sneaker Design

Following the phenomenon of the collaborative and interactive entertainment ground breakers- American Idol, Wikipedia, and Threadless- RYZ launches an interactive design space where participants are invited to create their very own footwear.

Founded by footwear industry veteran Rob Langstaff, former President of Adidas America and Adidas Japan, RYZ is a progressive, web-based and social-community sourced footwear design brand. It provides an online platform whereby consumers can have their unique sneaker design ideas brought to life via internet-based design competitions and community-based voting.

Consumers log on to RYZ, download a template of a high-top canvas shoe, add graphic applications, and then upload the template to te RYZ site. Each competition remains open for a four-week period; once closed, the designs are voted on by the web community with the help of an elite industry artist panel-- Saint Agnes of Worship Worthy, David Gensler, President of The Keystone Design Unit (KDU), and Chris Vidal the Shoelebrity and a well-respected member of OSD, who will provide feedback on design submissions. The winning design gets produced with the designer awarded $1,000 plus a $1 royalty for each pair sold.

“We are excited to provide a stage for young designers to showcase their creativity, and allow the real trendsetters to dictate what gets produced," says Langstaff.

The first winning shoe design to be featured and sold on the site was selected last week through a Portland-based design competition that paid homage to the fact that Portland is considered ‘sneaker universe’ to many (Nike and Adidas make their home in the area). Over 150 artists, designers, musicians, sneakerheads and young professionals converged to celebrate the launch of RYZ.

Jason Ehlers, a well-known graffiti artist from Portland, otherwise known as ‘Caveman’, was the winning designer with his unique shoe design titled, ‘The Creep.’

To view his design and upload your own, visit: www.ryzwear.com.

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