To launch a skatewear brand in the USA in 1986 was deemed commercial suicide. To do it from France, well that was just absurd. Yet that’s what French footwear company Rautureau Apple did, and for a while was seen as everything that was wrong with skating.
The Natas Kaupas pro-model shoe changed all that, starting the pro shoe model revolution and establishing Etnies as a force to be reckoned with. The owner Pierre André Senizergues would use this to form Sole Technology, to this day one of the biggest players and brands in skateboarding today.