I was as shocked as the next guy when I learned that Jon Buscemi was leaving Gourmet a few months ago. To me, the man was the brand and was their greatest marketing tool. If you followed him on Instagram, he was frequently hilarious and his roundy head seemed to pop up everywhere. I’m not one to speculate the reasons for his departure, but it seemed he left Gourmet to go out on his own and do his own thing. His own thing manifested in the form of his Free Range L.A. chicken & biscuits stand, as well as a new footwear venture with Ryan Babenzien called Greats Footwear.
For a while it all seemed very hush-hush with regards to Greats. All that was ascertained was that the customer would be getting a premium product at a very reasonable price. By cutting out the distributors and retailers, Greats will look to sell shoes direct to the customer in an effort to give them the best deal. Premium fabrics such as deerskin leather will be used and it the general consensus is you’ll be able to get a $400 shoe for less than a hundred dollars. The first two releases from the ‘Back to School’ collection debuted today after a few teaser shots. This will be followed by a full release on August 6th over on the Greats Brand website. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. Personally, I was always a fan of Gourmet’s more adventurous designs so these seem a bit safe to me. I do get the impression that timeless silhouettes and premium construction is more what they are going for though. We’ll have to wait and see when the full collection drops next week