It all started with a pair of Concept 1 basketball sneakers that were banned by the NBA due to its Load N’ Launch® technology. Since then, Adam and Ryan Goldston, founders of Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), have been honoured at the White House as the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the US aged 35 and under. Fashion meets function with APL, now available exclusively at Pedder On Scotts. BAZAAR catches up with the dashing brother act about sneaker inspirations and dream jobs.
How did you come up with this idea while studying at USC?
Adam & I grew up loving basketball & sneakers and went to USC play on the basketball team. For us, Athletic Propulsion Labs started as a company that created the first shoes that instantly make you jump higher and has transformed into a brand that really sits at the intersection of where performance and fashion meet.
What’s the story behind the brand name, Athletic Propulsion Labs?
Athletic Propulsion Labs drew its inspiration from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab. We have always been fascinated with those & wanted to create a brand that was unique within the athletic world. When you break down our name, propulsion is at the core of our brand (we create products that instantly make you jump higher and run faster), we are an athletic brand, and we create the world’s best footwear technologies which ties into the labs part of our name.
Sum up your brand philosophy in three words.
Innovative Luxury Performance
Help us make the distinction between the: Techloom Pro, Prism, Windchill and Ascend. Which shoe is suitable for which sport/activity?
The Windchill is our runner that features our patented Load ‘N Launch technology which instantly makes the wearer run faster. In testing, elite runners saw an average decrease of 9 seconds in their mile time & 1 runner decreased his time by 20 seconds from 4:50 to 4:30 in 1 day.
The Prism is our newest runner that features 360 degrees of reflectivity with a no sew/heat welded upper that is great for running at all hours of the day and ensures that you’ll be seen/standout.
The Techloom Pro is the perfect shoe for transitioning seamlessly between sport & fashion. It is incredibly lightweight (in a women’s US size 7.5 it weighs less than an apple) and breathable and allows you to change your clothes throughout the day and keep your shoes the same.
The Ascend is our first training shoe and is great for those that are looking for a shoe that serves multiple functions and look great throughout. We spent a lot of time working on the ankle cut because it is a higher shoe (in the tongue and heel), but it still looks extremely sleek on and gives an elongated look to the wearer’s legs.
What were your hobbies growing up? What was your dream job?
While we were growing up most of our time was spent playing sports, specifically basketball. For us, basketball was our main hobby. With the exception of playing in the NBA, starting our own athletic/fashion company really was Adam & I’s dream job.
Who are some of the entrepreneurs or athletes who have inspired you?
Ralph Lauren has definitely been an inspiration for the brand he’s been able to build and what his brand means to so many people. In addition, we also admire Elon Musk as an entrepreneur & how forward thinking a number of his businesses have been.
How does the dynamic of working with your brother impact how you work?
It makes everything way easier. Since we are twins, we’ve been around each other from day 1 so we really have a strong understanding of what the other is thinking & the decisions that we will make. We both always have the other’s best interest in mind, so even if there are disagreements, it’s because we’re working towards a common goal & trying to elevate one another/our business.
What’s your personal favourite style and how do you wear it?
Adam’s favorite style is the Ascend and it’s because it’s so versatile and a higher cut shoe. Adam literally wears it with everything. My (Ryan) favourite style is the Techloom Pro because it’s very lightweight & can easy transition throughout the day with whatever I want to wear. There isn’t an outfit that I can think of that I haven’t worn my Techloom Pro’s but my go-to is usually jeans, T-shirt, and a bomber or varsity jacket.
What’s the best selling style and colourway for women’s footwear?
The best selling style currently is the Techloom Pro in silver/gold/black and black/gold/silver having soldout pretty much everywhere across the globe (we’re re-launching them this month).
What can fans look forward to in the coming year?
We will be introducing new innovations with our techloom material, as well as a number of new silhouettes later this year. We’re also going to continue strengthening our position as the brand that blends performance and fashion in the most authentic and innovative ways.
By Debby Kwong