Parlayin with Nicolas Seguy (Founder of Feiyue)

February 2, 2011

Independent sneaker labels around the world have not only been popping up everywhere, but also making the big dogs re-think what they have been doing over the past few years. The market that was once dominated by sneaker giants have been flipped around with fierce competition from the underdogs. We at Fat Kids have been fortunate enough to sit down with Feiyue’s founder, Nicolas Seguy, to talk all things creative, sincere and innovative in his world. Read more after the jump.

1. How are ya’ Nicolas?
I’m good, thank you.

2. Thanks for taking time off to sit down with us to talk all things Feiyue. Its been 5 years since it’s been re-branded and launched… how has it been received so far?
Very strong in France as you know where Feiyue is really becoming a major, leading player in the market. Of course the brand still needs to develop which is why we continue to have a brand building approach. A few markets in Europe are picking up as well and hopefully will follow the same path!
As for Asia Pacific, we are slowly building up our base especially with our new Asia Headquarters set up in Singapore last August. We have been approached for collaborations and distributorships so that’s a very encouraging sign for us. The Challenge is slightly different in the region while distribution channels are just completely different from what we know in old Europe so its quite a new game… same ingredients, different recipe!

3. Being in an industry over shadowed by major labels, how do you think Feiyue fairs next to them and on a world scale? Also, what makes Feiyue stand out from the rest?
Flying Forward is the key! Our main pride today is that Feiyue is the 1st ever brand with Chinese origins to break through in the western fashion industry. In a way, we’re part of a cultural experiment that travels through time and involve people from all over.

4. Are you guys planning on introducing more styles to your current collection in the near future?
Definitely! First, keep in mind that we went from 1 unique silhouette to 5 different models in 4 years with over 130 colour ways! Now in the 3rd quarter of this year, there will be some interesting new styles for South East Asia. Two of them are the Feiyue A.S (Association Sportive) Series, the 5th model by Feiyue, inspired by indoor sports with slicker silhouettes and Feiyue Street Series featuring a tougher build and plush mixes of leather, suede, canvas, nylon and wool.

5. That’s really good to hear. We’ve always been mesmerized by sneakers which have stood the test of time and Feiyue’s history is nothing short of amazing… can you give our readers a little run down of the brands history?
Without losing any of its authentic vintage charm, the little lightweight canvas shoe from Shanghai that was in the limelight in the 1920s, underwent a series of transformations. Its DNA gradually evolved, combining with French and international influences.
Considerable work has been conducted on improving quality standards: with a complete revision of the original form and more carefully selected materials, the resulting shoe combines aesthetics with durability.
With these modifications complete, the very first collection was launched in France in February 2006. Since then, Feiyue has seen many different varieties and is constantly changing – its name, pronounced “Feî-ué” literally meaning “Flying Forward”, is the only remaining link between the brand and its Asian origins since everything is now done in Paris.

6. Wow, that’s a really interesting time line… tell us, was there a moment since your inception in 2006 when you felt that, “Wow, this is a real blessing that the brand is making waves around the world”. When was that moment for you and how did you feel?
No one would have expected that Feiyue would be this big. I am exceptional gratified with the personal adventure of making it to where we are with old friends and great people who have supported us from day one. Its hard to really pin point a specific date but I would say we just realized what was happening at the beginning of 2009 when it just went “boom” and the shoes were flying off the shelves in some of the most selective stores in France!

7. Speaking of standing the test of time, Feiyue’s simplicity and functionality has definitely been a big selling point for the sneaker. Could you tell us more about the design concepts behind your Feiyue Models?
Our collections are designed and created with instincts without in depth analysis of styles but rather based on feelings and experiences.
We listen, look around, remember what we used to wear and love when we were young, travel, share experiences with people and also things we like in order to offer collections that are true to us and Feiyue’s image.

8. Have you got a favorite model out of the lot yourself? and what makes it so special to you?
Hard to say but I tend to love the Feiyue Plain II nowadays which you can wear with anything, subtle branding, thicker canvas with suede patterns…very chic while simple!

9. Since we’re on the sneaker topic, lets talk about the Andre Feiyue Fe-Lo for a minute. How did that project come about?
Andre is a close friend of ours and him as a graffiti artist and Feiyue just naturally fitted together. We like Andre’s underground/arty edge and our mutual ideas on creating this shoe just fully aligned from day one.

10. Are you guys planning on more collaborative projects in the near future?
Yes there are and there always will be. Loyal to its values, Feiyue is always looking for collaborations that allow reciprocal exchanges and free expression of the brand and the artists. We’re working on a musical project in South African and Singapore for regional programs and fashion related collabs in France for global projects. Just a little bit too soon to tell you more!!

11. Now a lot of people know of Feiyue the sneaker brand, but I’m sure they would be very interested to know as well, the people behind this successful sneaker label?
We’re 3 friends who each other for over 10 years. Completely different backgrounds, education and lifestyles, which are our strength, I believe. We’re combining experiences in the F&B industry, event production and the corporate world having worked in France, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany etc…

12. What motivates the team at Feiyue to keep flying forward?
The premise of more freedom, more sincerity and more innovation and the idea that smaller brands, smaller companies can still make it in this world!

13. Speaking of flying, everyone loves super human powers. If you were given super human powers, what would it be and why?
I would want to have teleporting capabilities so getting anywhere would be at a snap of my fingertips, but for now I am contented with my anti-gravitational 10N28E! ☺

14. What are your plans for Feiyue for 2011 and beyond?
We’ve been growing so fast in these few years that we also need to focus on our structure, our people and organisation. This will be our main focus for the coming year together with expansion in the markets in South East Asia.

15. I’m sure there are a lot of young and passionate sneaker heads who want to start their own sneaker line in the near future. Have you got any encouraging words for them?
Don’t be afraid to explore, input sincerity and of course travel for more inspirations. That’s the good side of it but also don’t be afraid to loose or fail, that’s also part of the game and it only makes one stronger.

Thank you so much for taking time off your busy schedule to be with us today Nicolas. We really appreciate it. Hope your brand excels beyond your expectations and we are looking forward to your Australian launch next month. Keep flying ahead of the game!

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