How far would you go to achieve your dreams? To the end of the world? Some people dare it, try it and make it possible.
When we say successful man in a professional way pretty much we imagine person with long term career and a long way road passed. It’s rare to see a young man to achieve his professional dreams so quick but surely it’s possible. We spoke with Daniel Spencer Montane, 30, a successful designer from Santiago Chile, founder of BD Brands & Develop HK Ltd., a company that is specialized in development and manufacturing of footwear, brands, skateboards and most of the products related to the action sports industry. Daniel’s passion for skateboarding became his life style and his work. To set his business he moved from Chile to Hong Kong, China, which is the “hottest” location for sneakers trends and where all the supply chain is located. There’s no better way to give your brand and your business a boost than to participate in China market.
B&D designs and produces different varieties of action sports products, focusing primarily on footwear and skateboards that require more technology but at the same time in products related to the action sport market that aren’t too technical such as: beach sandals, flip flops, canvas shoes, etc. To achieve their mission they have strategic points worldwide as an office in Hong Kong and headquarters in China.
When you work on new designs and develop new models how much intention do you give to visual aspect?
Well, first of all, before the design process I need to make a research of the upcoming trends, reading out specialized footwear magazines, skateboards magazines, and the most important the market stats. This way I can make a successful product. So basically the visual aspect is defined by the market strategies. In the past of this industry, shoes had a very “big look”, full of rubber on the upper side, etc, in order to make a shoe really resistant, but, that didn’t give satisfaction of the design. Nowadays, concept of the shoes has changed radically. They have a really simple line, and all the “technical features” are hidden. All together it gives a soft and light look of the shoe.
In China’s big market you needed high management skills to insure your company growth. What can you tell us about that?
China is a very complicated market and it’s very different from Western markets, in terms of their handling business. Paying big amounts in cash is a common thing and it’s basically the only way to pay. Nobody wants to use credit cards or the Western payment methods. They only trust cash! I needed a lot of skills in negotiations with the factories to convince them to accept my payment terms and that is really hard. Another thing is the coordination and control of factories which is the key point. Chinese use very different business logic, so if you are not completely focused on all processes, you will get a lot of mistakes.
What can you tell us about Hong Kong street style?
Hong Kong is a crowded and a noisy city but at the same time very unique because when you are walking down the streets, you can see a multicultural society, Asian, English, Latin, Indian, and I think pretty much all the ethnics of the world. In other words, you can see mixes of all fashion styles. Almost always, I just grab a coffee and go to the park or stop on the street, and just sit, watching people pass by. That always gives me great ideas for new designs or what the new upcoming trends will be like. It starts in Asia, then moves to rest of the world. Hong Kong is an inspiring place for fashion, design and trends.
Do you follow trends and how is your personal style? Does skateboarding influence it?
I really don’t follow trends; I just wear what I like and what makes me feel comfortable. My personal style I guess will always be influenced by skateboarding, since I have been skating over 18 years up to now. Specific trend for skateboarders doesn’t exist. I may say just a skateboard itself is the only article that can define a skateboarder. You can find punk rocks, rappers, reggae, hippies, or what ever; you don’t have to be into a determined trend to be a skateboarder. I like casual clothing, just jeans and a shirt. Of course when I have important meetings I dress suit, but it’s not my daily style.
How much skateboarding keeps you up in shape?
That really depends on how much I practice. Skateboarding is a good sport but also dangerous. You’re having constant injuries from it. I don’t know if I can put it into a “get fit” category, since it’s really radical. Personally, I train a lot. I love freedom, sense of control and mind focus that skateboarding gives me when I ride. I also love running, since it improves a lot my physical state for skating. I challenge myself every day with higher goals.
What are your future goals?
I just want to keep traveling, expanding my company and to continue with my mission on “conquering the world”.
Skate for fun!