WHY SCOTT JOHNSTON LEFT LAKAI FOR ADIDAS

Scott Johnston

Courtesy of DQM

Scott Johnston explains why he left his role as Lakai's Design Director to take a position with adidas in the latest interview from The Chrome Ball Incident. In 2015, Johnston relocated from Los Angeles to Portland to become adidas Skateboarding’s Senior Footwear Designer. This ended a 16-year tenure with Lakai during which he evolved from team rider to designer. Given his close relationship with founders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll—and that it was the brand that allowed him to cut his teeth in footwear—the decision to leave was obviously difficult. For Scott, it boiled down to personal growth.

I basically had this same aha moment as a designer. If I want to explore the highest levels of footwear design, I have to go elsewhere to learn. The biggest footwear brands are in Boston and Portland, that’s where I needed to go in order to grow.

But yeah, it was super hard, man. It’s tough leaving your friends… and then to essentially go somewhere that is their competition? It definitely wasn't easy. But as a father, a designer, and a skateboarder, I had to do what was best for all of those things.

Head over to The Chrome Ball Incident to read Johnston’s story in its entirety.