03/08. Santa Barbara, California. — Brought together by their admiration for iconic brands, SeaVees co–founders Steven Tiller and Derek Galkin met over two years ago to execute a premium footwear project. The meeting was held at the Avalon Hotel, the mid–century classic on the edge of Beverly Hills. In discussing branding philosophies and design aesthetics during these Sperry Top–Sider sessions, the two quickly discovered they were kindred spirits.
The setting of the sun–drenched Avalon — a reinvigorated California landmark with contemporary updates — would prove to be symbolic in forming the basis of SeaVees. Tiller, at the time a creative executive for Stride Rite Corporation — owners of heritage brands Sperry Top–Sider, Keds, Pro–Keds and Saucony — had long wanted to start a brand of his own. Galkin, a founder of MEDIUM Design Group, had recently departed the start–up and had the desire to move in a new direction.
SeaVees is inspired by the casual style of California in the 1960’s, but adapted appropriately for today’s modern sensibilities. “We are endlessly influenced by the coolest place on the planet, in the coolest of times,” says Tiller. “Think of the cool style of Steve McQueen or the creative genius of Brian Wilson. It’s four decades later and, not only have they stood the test of time, their styles are arguably cooler today than when originated.”
“This isn’t just a token revival effort,” says Galkin. “We’ve added modern amendments to vintage–inspired styling. The result is our unique aesthetic, what we call ‘respectful rehabilitation.’ It’s a considerate appreciation that only occurs with 40 years of perspective and contemplation.”
SeaVees Comes to Surface