The 5 Things We Learned from Syn Martinez, Founder of AfroBrutality

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Sneaker School allows people to level up their sneaker knowledge to take next steps into a possible career in sneakers. Sneaker School student alum Syn Martinez put himself in the right place, at the right time and was ready to make his move. He recently teamed up with Global Footwear brand Puma to release a branded gear collection under his brand, AfroBrutality. The collection includes a signature Puma silhouette with AfroBrutality branding set to release in June 2021. AfroBrutality is not just a fitness brand, it’s a movement. The belief behind the brand is that the power of exercise not only tones the body but uplifts and educates the mind. Martinez believes in self-expression and created the AfroBrutality brand and movement so that people can exercise and express themselves unapologetically, AfroBrutality aims to create a more diverse and inclusive space in the cross-functional training community, with workouts that incorporate Black History education (not just in February) and dope workout gear to match. Earlier this month, the AfroBrutality collection debuted at the Puma Flagship store in New York City. The in-store presentation included 2 levels of activity with the collection and shoes on display. There were workout stations available for trial workouts and Syn created custom workouts for all to enjoy, during the event or at home. Participants were outfitted in AfroBrutality Tees and Masks for socially distanced safety. The upper level was Workout HQ. There were guided and group workouts happening which are all available for people to check out on the Puma app. We recently sat down with Syn for a virtual webinar conversation. He talked about his sneaker journey so far, the process of going from Sneaker School to Puma collaborator and gave some tips into how people can follow in his footsteps to get into the sneaker game. We were able to catch five of his most solid gems and share them below. If you want to see the full webinar conversation, you can view it in its entirety here. If you want more information on how you can apply for Sneaker School, visit 1 - “When I come with ideas, I see them all the way through.” - Syn spoke about how many times people have ideas but no follow through. He likes to see his ideas from concept to product and follow through all the time. It is important to have all the steps to an idea because sometimes that is the difference between a brand taking or leaving your idea on the table. 2 - “Logos? It’s all about the details.” - Syn spoke in detail about the importance of storytelling and details when designing a logo. He had to re-think his logo a couple of times before deciding on a final design. He wanted to make sure the image resonated with the story the brand was telling. “And you want to make sure it looks good on everything.” 3 - “The art of pitching w/o pitching.” - When asked about how he pitched his idea to Puma, Syn said, “ I didn't. I've built an incredible presence that my brand was innovative and tried and true, to where they reached out to me. This is done by years of hard work. Sneaker Essentials helped me figure out verbiage, and how to turn an idea into a pair of sneakers, to build my ability to negotiate and know what I was talking about. 4 - “I put myself in a strategic place so I could win.” - Hard work definitely pays off and Syn spoke about how he worked hard and was always prepared in every way for his next move. When Puma approached him, he was ready to give them all that they needed for next steps. 5 - “Do you want to be around for a lifetime, a reason or a season?” - You have to be all-in if you want to succeed in the sneaker industry. While most people want to have a career in the sneaker industry, they need to decide on how bad they want it. If they want to be around for a long time, they need to always have content and always be ready to put in the work.
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