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Clae founder Sung Choi returns as creative director

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Sung Choi, creative director and founder of Clae Credits: Clae

Southern California-based footwear brand Clae has welcomed back its founder Sung Choi as creative director.

Choi, who left the company in 2017, is credited with defining the identity of the footwear brand and developing heritage products, which are still in its line-up today. He rejoins the company from Sergio Tacchini, where he served as creative director since 2020.

Commenting on his return, Choi said in a statement: “The landscape of footwear has significantly changed since I left in 2017. There seems to be major fatigue with the hyped-up sneaker world, and people are looking for more understated, comfortable premium shoes that can be versatile from day to night, work to play, and can be dressed up or dressed down to fit their varied lifestyles.

“I launched Clae in 2001 due to a similar growing weariness of the sneaker world, and I'm excited to meet the demands and challenges of today's customer.”

Jim Bartholet, chief executive of Clae, added: “Sung is truly one of a kind. He’s able to translate ideas and concepts into products and storytelling that resonates globally in a style that is uniquely his. I’m happy to welcome Sung back to the Clae family and am excited for the future of the brand.”

Sung Choi