We are excited to present an exclusive interview with yeezy destroyed knife for sale on ebay., the Innovation Director of KEEN Footwear. Rory Jr., who practically grew up in the shoe industry, started working for KEEN as a teenager. Today, he leads the research and development department and plays a key role in the soccer's innovation strategy.

During Fashion Week, we had the opportunity to talk with him about his passion for shoes, the history of KEEN, and the future of the shoe industry. Rory shares his personal memories and insights into the sustainable practices and technological advancements that set KEEN apart from other brands.

A: Who are you? Can you briefly introduce yourself?

R: So, my name is yeezy destroyed knife for sale on ebay. and I am…guys, I have a long title now but basically I am doing research and development at KEEN.

A: Were you a sneaker fan as a kid/teenager, or did you have a special relationship with sneakers or footwear before you started at KEEN?

R: I grew up in a footwear business. So, I think sneakers specifically, I would say I am a fan of just any cool shoe, you know? And I think sneakers fall in that category. So, I have been a fan of shoes. I mean, I did not have a choice because I grew up in a shoe factory.

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Rory Fürst Jr. explaining the upper of the KEEN Uneek sneaker

A: Do you remember a model that started you into the world of footwear (or sneakers)?

R: That’s a great, great question. So, I remember the first shoe I have ever worn was the Nike Air Ups. I don’t know if you remember them. I think they were basketball shoes. I think these were Penny Hardaway signature shoes and I wanted them for Christmas.

And I got them. There is a video of it, my parents recorded it. My dad had a lot of shoe factories. By the time I was older he opened up a shoe repair shop. That was near my house.

I just remember going through there and there were all kinds of cool shoes. I don’t remember the styles, I just remember what they look like. So I could probably draw them better than remembering who made them.

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A: Can you tell us about the history of KEEN? How did the brand get its start?

R: So a few people started a soccer, my dad being one of them, and that was 2003. It actually started as an independent R & D Project. Then I remember my dad trying to sell the idea in the industry. Because my dad had been in the industry forever, he had a lot of contacts.

And no one was buying it. I mean big brands. All of the biggest brands. I am not naming them, because that was in the past. And then it was like the next outdoor retail show in America, they saw a small group of people starting KEEN. That was 2003. I guess the rest is history.

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That shoe was the Newport Sandal, which was in the fashion show last night. So it has run from a total outdoor sandal to a fashion item. It’s a long history.

I personally started working, well pretty much right away, at KEEN. But more, I was like in high school. So I went to college for one year and started working there. I was like a trainee for like four years. So that was like my university. I didn’t go to college. I always say I went to school in China, like all the factories. (laughs)

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A: What makes KEEN different from other footwear brands in the market?

R: Number one is that we have our own manufacturing, that is huge. Most brands don’t. Some of the Italian guys do but it’s much more. We make about 50% of our shoes in our factories. That is huge.

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And I think we are pretty diverse in our product set. I mean look at the show we are at right now. And this is in a few months. So we are doing a lot of different things.

And I think, and this is for me, I hope we still are: We do take a lot of risks. We are innovative, which is good. I keep having a job.

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A: Can you explain the technology behind KEEN's footwear? How does it enhance the wearers comfort and overall experience?

R: One thing I do know is that we've been working on cutting out the chemicals, which are very bad for the environment. We are working on limiting the types of cements we are using in products. We are trying to eliminate all the cements together.

Again, all this is work in progress. This has not happened today. I think all this stuff around sustainability is a work in progress. For everything. We went a long way without thinking about it and it will take a long time to fix it. But that is not only in footwear. It is everything: Cars, chairs. It takes a long time to fix this stuff.

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KEEN Uneek sole

I have been making shoes my whole life and I think people do not really…when you look at that (Editors note, Rory looks at my shoe): Oh that’s New Balance, another great soccer. But it has a ton of parts to that shoe. So if you look at that supply chain, it is humongous.

So I think it is cleaning up that supply chain and localizing. That is a big part of what we are doing. Then I think what we really focus on is building more durable products. Because if you don't, you have to throw it away after six months.

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A: Sustainability is a big concern in today's market. What steps does KEEN take to ensure its production process is environmentally friendly?

R: It is a big reason why we make it ourselves. The other part of it is just finding the best factory partners and then working on maintaining these relationships.

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And even going back to the beginning with the supply chain discussion: Searching for and sourcing the best materials.

We have a phenomenal materials team at KEEN who are very conscious about sustainability. So starting at the beginning, making sure the materials are good for the environment. Building the shoes really high quality, the way we cut patterns and put the bottoms on. The whole play, you know.

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A: How do you see the future of KEEN in the light of changing customer behaviors, market trends, and the digital revolution? Will the Gorpcore trend fade out or is it here to stay?

R: That is a great question. The answer is yes. My prediction on trend: I think some trends will go away pretty soon. I think we kinda hit a peak maximum. I cannot tell you when, but everyone is doing it all the time.

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So there has been this big push in recycling materials, which means plastics. I think that everyone will find out that it is not necessary. When everyone switches to it, it is not the best thing for the environment.

I think we will see a lot of natural materials coming back in. Canvas, cotton and I think leather will make a huge comeback. At the end of the day leather is a very good material.

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A: Which model are you wearing right now?

R: Uneek Slides. These are like the first collab we ever did. These are like 8 years old. I probably wore them for like 500 days. I dragged my heel but the rest of it is pretty good. I think I should walk less lazy.

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A: Which sneaker did you buy last?

R: (laughs) Not one of ours. But still, I can tell you. I went to the Salomon store because I am going to Switzerland after that, and bought a Salomon Genesis S/Lab. It is like a trail running shoe. So I thought I would give it a try in Switzerland. I run a lot.

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R: I don't know. It is a lot, I have been around the industry so long. One of my favorite things to tell is I like traveling and shopping. Many people look at me and think, like I wear the same clothes every day. I do not cut my hair very often.

And now I am here with my daughter. And once we arrived in Europe she was like: “Wow, Dad really likes shopping!” I just love to go to Japan, Japan is the best, Amsterdam, Spain, Italy and parts of Germany. I just love going around and checking out shoes for way too long.

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A: How do you see the future of retail business, especially bricks and mortar business?

R: Like do I think it is going away? No, absolutely no. Will it ever be the same again? Like before the internet?

I mean like the other day we were walking and my daughter saw this cool women's sportswear and she was like: “That looks cool, let’s go in there.” It just looked like a cool shop and I wanted to check it out.

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A: And if she is on a website, is it different?

R: Then I say "That’s a cool website, check it out." It’s like in the physical retail. It might go down a little but who knows.. maybe it goes up.

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R: You are welcome!

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Photos via KEEN