Jordan Dos Santos, Salomon | Footpatrol Meets

11.05.23 Footpatrol Meets

At Footpatrol, we’re always looking to meet the faces behind the brands we love or the community members who are doing great things. Started back in lockdown, our Footpatrol Meets franchise provided this opportunity. In our latest episode, we catch up with Jordan Dos Santos who is part of the team at Salomon within the Marketing team. 

Whether it’s on the city streets or dominating the trails, the last few years has seen a real upsurge in the Salomon brand. Jordan takes us through some of his favourite silhouettes whilst discussing his relationship with Salomon. 

Footpatrol: Hey Jord, thank you for taking the time to chat to us, could you first start by telling us a little about yourself and the part you play at Salomon?

 JD: Hey man, first of all thank you for the invitation. I appreciate the opportunity. A little bit about myself – I’m French, just turned 30 years old and Kid Cudi is the greatest artist of all time. On a more serious note, I have been working at Salomon for a year and a half now. I initially started the company to help build the ambassador program for the global brand with a strong focus on outdoor and sustainability. But more recently, I joined the Salomon Sportstyle team. This opportunity was a dream come true as I’ve always wanted to combine my love for sneakers and my career. I can say my life has come full circle. My new job is to drive the global drumbeat of the brand and to ensure that we collaborate and support communities and talent that share the same DNA and values as us. Everything is driven from Annecy, France and it is an amazing opportunity being part of building the brand’s momentum to the top.

FP: I think it’s fair to say Salomon’s current trajectory is climbing astronomically! With a catalogue of notable collaborators mixed with iconic silhouettes over the years, what do you think is the appeal of Salomon in the lifestyle world?

JD: I want it on the record that my opinion is purely personal and is not to be taken as an official statement.

I believe that Salomon made its way to where it is today by staying true to its origins. Salomon has not changed or altered any of their iconic silhouettes to fit into the trends but instead we had The Broken Arm (2015) and later Boris Bidjan (2016) showing interest and letting us know that our footwear could go beyond the trails, and live in the lifestyle space, but not compromise performance. As you can see, a lot of the success has been organic from the very beginning, it came from the communities and lifestyle experts reaching out to us and showing us the potential space we could take in the lifestyle world. You can still feel the authenticity of the brand in everything we do and that’s a real strength to me. That was a long answer just to say that we are authentic and that’s what makes Salomon appealing.

FP: What got you specifically into sneakers?

 JD: Simple answer – music.

Less simple answer – The early 2000’s were really influential for me, I grew up listening to Pharrell and Lil Wayne. My love for sneakers comes from this era, as all of these artists were rocking the best in the game. I remember Pharrell rocking Bapesta with crazy colourways or Vans matching his outfit perfectlty. I was always amazed by their style. I would find myself trying to recreate their outfits but as you know as a kid, you would only get one pair of sneakers per year so you had to be sharp with your pick. To be honest, I would not come remotely close to look as cool as them but the inspiration was ignited. Then, I started to see that you can know a lot about a person based on what type of sneakers they wear. Air Max 90? Scarface is your religion. Destroyed checkered Vans? You can barely do an ollie but play wonderwall on the guitar at every party. Nike Foamposite? You wake up in the middle of the night to watch your favorite NBA team lose. New Balance? You’re a PE teacher or a dad at Disney World. I know I just took a shot at everyone and I want to say that I was definitely a big fan of Tony Montana’s work.

I still believe it’s true. Your pair of sneakers says so much about you. With time, I learned to dive into the narrative of the pair, the materials, technologies and so on. My goal back then was to accumulate pairs, to match every hat and every shirt when today I want to buy smarter with a sustainable approach.

FP: What is it you love most about the Salomon brand?

 JD: There’s two POVs to this. The outsider – can see that Salomon is doing a great job navigating the sneaker industry and beyond that in the lifestyle and fashion world. You can tell that our unique design could influence other players which in my opinion gives us even more credibility in that space. Also the fact that our shoes can be seen from the trails to the catwalks.

The insider – as I mentioned before, I am witnessing a great moment for the brand. We are still young in the lifestyle space, there’s still so much to do and it’s truly exciting to be there at this time.

FP: As we enter the anniversary year of the XT6 – Can you tell us a bit about the history of the XT6 and what is it that appeals to you the most about this silhouette? Do you have any favourites?

 JD: The XT-6 was designed by Benjamin Grenet back in 2013. He was in charge of creating and developing new concept shoes for the best trail runners in the world. Today it is one of the most popular silhouettes in our catalogue but also in the streets. 

That’s actually how I reconnected with the brand circa 2020. I remember buying the kangaroo colourway in Berlin back when I was living there. I could notice the silhouette more and more in the streets of the city and the quicklace got me to break my neck. It was also a moment in my life where my sneaker collection was no longer inspiring me. So the XT-6 came into my life at the right time. The first time I tried them on, I found the comfort amazing. You just had to slip your feet, arrange the quicklace and voilà. Back then, they weren’t as popular and I loved people making comments about it or why I would wear trail running shoes in the streets.

For the sentimental value, I would pick the Kangaroo colourway since it’s the first one that got me into Salomon a few years ago. To wear everyday, I would choose the triple white. You may find it odd but I think they look cooler when they are dirty (and they’re also so easy to clean). Probably because it brings them back to what they were made for: mud, trails and dust. For the hype, I would go for the Salomon x Palace collab that released in 2021. The colours are crazy on them. It’s like the perfect match between an OG silhouette and the crazy energy from the London based brand.

FP: there is quite a variety to your collection, what does a sneaker need to have to make it into your rotation? A colourful personality? Tech? narrative? Or all the above? Are there any Salomons on your ‘to buy’ list currently?

JD: Actually, a friend brought this up the other day and noticed that my current rotation is only Salomon and that the loyalty runs deep and that says a lot because before I would wear many different brands. I tend to strive away from the silhouettes I see the most and challenge myself to bring light to silhouettes that need more love. Rocking a pair that makes me go “what are those?” is my main driver. Also I have sustainability in mind so I pay attention to the techs and the colours because I need it to be timeless in order to keep them around for a very long time; but I do have a spicy pair or two that keep things interesting like the ACS Pro collaboration with L’Art de l’Automobile. If I had to mention a pair from my “to buy” list, I would go for the last XT-QUEST 2 ‘Texas’ designed by The Broken Arm. The colourway makes them easy to wear but still with a nice little twist.

FP: if YOU were a Salomon silhouette, what would you be?

JD: If I was a silhouette, I think I would be… a… pair of… (dang hard to pick)… I’d say the X-ALP. It’s been revamped by The Broken Arm, the X-DES ALPES. It is actually the one I rock the most at the moment. The silhouette is smooth, the comfort amazing, it has GORE-TEX technology so I don’t worry about any rain and I love the embroidery details. It ticks all the boxes. Beyond that, the OG colourways go hard. I believe this silhouette has a lot of potential. Perhaps I talk about this as much as I can at the office just in case some designers are listening. 

FP: Thank you for having a chat with us, its been great to talk about all things Salomon, are there any words of wisdom, shoutouts, or any advice you can give to those looking to pursue a role get in Salomon brand.

JD: Thank you for your time and the opportunity once again. It’s a first time for me and I loved the experience. I am thankful for where I am right now, working in an inspiring environment, meeting all these creative minds. What a time to be alive. Quick shoutout to my colleague and now best friend Sofia who took the money shots for this article and also to the rest of my team doing an amazing job at putting Salomon where it is today. They make my job very easy everyday.

It’s funny because in 2020 I was buying their sneakers, working in a different industry, in a different country and two years later I am part of the team. I wasn’t necessarily chasing after a position in this industry but maybe my passion being so strong helped manifest this opportunity. To quote Kid Cudi, “It all makes sense in the end”. Keep hope and stay passionate. 

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