by Jeff Thorburn
As a professional skateboarder, Tony Ferguson was known for putting quality before quantity. When the time was right, he moved on to new pursuits, most notably with the footwear side of Alife. Through all of this, Tony has earned and strengthened his reputation as a guy that knows what’s up. Tony has now taken his great taste and put it into Rone, a company that’s all his own. We caught up with Tony in Vancouver to hear more about his new venture.
Where did the initial idea for Rone come from?
I have wanted to do my own brand for a long time. The idea came from the spirit of skateboarding, which is to break the rules or go against the grain. I wanted to do something different than what was happening in the marketplace.
Now I have the opportunity to work with master craftsmen and some of the best factories in the world to make handcrafted footwear, but wanted it to come from a real place, so I fused it with skateboarding.
The footwear is inspired by skateboarding—or what inspired me about skateboarding—meshed with handmade luxury footwear made from the best materials available.
The name comes from my childhood nickname, “Tony Rone.” I wasn’t sure about using that name but it made the most sense and tells my story.
What has been involved in the process of starting up the brand?
There is so much to do and it is an ongoing process. It’s making ideas come to fruition but also building a brand that stands for something and is timeless. I want to do things for the right reasons and take my time. Longevity is important.
Who is Rone likely to appeal to?
Rone is definitely not for everyone. It’s crafted for a more mature, nostalgic and cultured individual that appreciates the finer things in life but comes from or appreciates skateboarding.
How has your past—being a young skater, riding for shoe companies, working for shoe companies—led you to this point?
Rone is the culmination of everything I have done to date in skateboarding and footwear. It’s all my experiences. I have learned from everything, good or bad. It has really been a lifetime of experiences, connections, and failures to get me to this point.
Is Rone poised to be your full-time gig, or are you still involved with Alife and other companies?
Yes, absolutely this is going to be my primary focus.
Will we see people skating any of your shoes, like the guy on Jenkem skating the Yeezy Boost?
I am sure we will, but I think most people will appreciate the amount of time put into hand crafting them and the materials used so most will likely treat them well.
Where is Rone available?
The brand will be launching at some of the best stores globally, including Colette in Paris, United Arrows in Japan, and Haven in Canada. They are also available online at ronebrand.com.