Diadora & LC23: An Interview with the LC founder about Diadora and making the first denim N9000
Nowadays it isn’t often we run into a brand that puts the quality of their products at the top of their list of priorities. We’re so used to buying online that we often neglect if a pair of sneakers is really worth the purchase.
Few brands are as careful about the quality of materials like Diadora. The Italian brand has us accustomed to seeing great collaborations with some infamous stores around the world, and with their 70th birthday upcoming this year they will celebrate with some special releases. Their first joint venture is with a niche brand from Puglia, a region in the southern part of Italy: LC23. Born in December of 2010 in Gioia del Colle, a small town near Bari, this boutique is an idea born by Leo Colacicco (hence the name LC). At the time Leo decided to come back to his roots and create the boutique based on the mantra “hand made with love in Puglia”. The careful research of materials and the assurance of “made in Italy” are the clear marks of LC23. These elements have helped the brand create some iconic pieces, like coats with varying colors of wool sleeves and patchwork suits. Previous collaborations with Puma and Backdoor Bottega for a pair of really limited R698, and also with Le Coq Sportif for two apparel capsules in the past two years.
We recently took a few moments to talk with Leo Colacicco about the forthcoming collaboration with Diadora and his personal feelings on sneakerculture .
Hi Leo. Let’s start from the beginning. How did you and Diadora decide to work together?
It started with a fortuitous meeting, while talking to a friend: “Why not a collaboration?”. The collaborations often come about this way, drinking at a party or at a dinner, not in the usual work places. I like it!
The first drop is focused on Diadora Heritage, the niche product line by the Italian brand. Why?
It was Diadora’s choice after they had analyzed my first proposal for the SS18 collection. I think it was the right call because of the products’ features; they’re all made in Italy, both shoes and apparel, using the best materials on the market.
The most notable feature of these sneakers is the use of denim. Why these colors and this material?
LC23 was born near Bari, Diadora near Treviso (in the northern part of Italy) and I found that the coat of arms of their districts have the same colors: yellow and light blue. We used the yellow for the toe cap and some details along with light blue for the upper made of two different kinds of light and dark denim. The upper is “washed” after the production and then put together with the outsole. The outcome are these two sneakers, N9000 and B-Elite Socks.
You have always been careful with the connection to your native territory (“hand made with love in Puglia”) and you wrote the acronyms of the two brands districts (BA and TV) on these sneakers too. Please explain this relationship.
I’m really in love with my native territory. I decided to stay in Puglia, but I’m aware that other cities (e.g., Milan) offer different opportunities. But I trust that the wellness matters more than everything else, above all in a creative job as mine. So, I wouldn’t trade Puglia with any other place in the world. I decided to highlight this concept in our collaboration with Diadora as well, because they’re really connected to their native district too.
As a sneakerhead, what’s your favorite Diadora pair?
Diadora is one of the best (sneaker brands) in my opinion, because their sneakers are really well executed. For a details-lover, like myself, it has been easy to fall in love with them. My favorite pair is the “Lire” N9000 done with Concepts.
Diadora and LC23 are both purveyors of quality, so it seems like a natural collaboration. What do you think about the hype that surrounds the sneaker game?
I’m really upset about it. I think that nowadays 90% of people know anything about the products, the quality… But nevertheless, they’re able to sell out on poorly made items. Nobody looks at the quality, knowing who is wearing a product is enough to decide to buy it! I think that hype has spoiled sneaker culture. This collaboration is a testament to the fact that there are still guys looking for perfect details and materials.
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What are your top three sneakers in 2017? You could name three hyped ones too.
I’ll choose three Nike pairs, because the best Diadora’s will be released in 2018! On my current list would be the Air Max 97/1 by Sean Wotherspoon, Air Jordan 1s and Zoom Fly by Off White
What’s next for LC23?
I’m involved in several projects, but at the moment my main goal is making quality offerings with my brand and hopefully something else with Diadora in the upcoming seasons!