Browse all

How did Saucony's Jazz become an icon?

We asked Andrea Rogg, General Manager of Saucony for the EMEA area

How did Saucony's Jazz become an icon? We asked Andrea Rogg, General Manager of Saucony for the EMEA area
1983 New York Marathon
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Rod Dixon (1980 cs.)
OJ Simpson (1980 ca.)
OJ Simpson (center) wearing Saucony during a game
Andrea Rogg, Saucony General Manager for the EMEA area
1983 New York Marathon
1983 New York Marathon
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.

Saucony's story is over 100 years old, the story of one of the greatest excellences in the world of running – symbolized by the iconic photo of Rod Dixon triumphing at the 1983 New York Marathon wearing his Saucony sneakers. The most famous model of the brand comes from this era, the 80s, and is known either by its name of Jazz, from the year of its debut, known at the time as the most technologically advanced racing sneaker on the market. In 2021, Jazz will celebrate its forty years – an important milestone for one of the most iconic products in the history of running capable of mixing versatility of style with technological innovations such as the Maxitrac sole with triangular teeth, butterfly balance lacing and a specific inlet for a more ergonomic fit. All features that made it the best-selling Saucony sneaker of all time.

Andrea Rogg, Saucony General Manager for the EMEA area

One of the architects of this success, in more recent times, was Andrea Rogg, General Manager of Saucony for the EMEA area, who not only knows the product in its most infinitesimal details but who has also curated a finely calibrated distribution network that brought the world and Saucony's story before an audience with unprecedented breadth. That's why nss magazine interviewed him, making himself tell how 2021 of the brand will be.

What made Jazz a classic?

The Jazz is a classic because it is an authentic product. It was born as a high-tech sneaker, sold for sports performance and in fact won a marathon like the one in New York. The technological study to take weight away from the product, the innovative materials of the construction and the study of the plantar are the fundamental components for a product that was born as technician but that today is dedicated to lifestyle but maintains technological and morphological characteristics that make it attractive to the contemporary consumer. Starting from these characteristics, we have combined the comfort and technology component with the elements of fashion, the association of materials and colors, the chromatic work on the inters upper and upper. And that's why the sneaker has been in step with the times. The very selective distribution strategy was also fundamental. And then making internal changes, for example by adding and raising the sole, with three layers instead of two, which we call Jazz Triple – a feature that, for female models, allows customers to have a kind of "heel".

1983 New York Marathon
1983 New York Marathon
1983 New York Marathon
Rod Dixon (1980 cs.)
OJ Simpson (1980 ca.)
OJ Simpson (center) wearing Saucony during a game

In what creative direction has this collection moved and in what perspective did it want to reinterpret the past?

There have been, especially in the last year, some very important changes that we will start to see with the FW21 collection. The brand is American but has decided to create its own style center and product study in Italy. The new direction will be to interpret Italian trends, trying to make them international, with the development and product design made here in Italy. There will also be capsule collections produced in the rest of Europe – and these will be more premium products, for our "high" distribution and independent fashion boutiques.

The challenge, in addition to maintaining our position in the distribution of fashion, and always remaining in the "premium" category is to reach, especially outside Italy, consumers of high-level sneakers, younger and attentive to quality products and international brands such as ours. 

Are there any initiatives or new projects for the new collection?

Yes of course. It's our icon's 40th birthday. 2021 opens with the debut of Jazz, a modern interpretation of the original version, faithful to the look and characteristics that have made this shoe a real icon of recent decades but made with premium materials and special details to increase comfort and fit. But the brand has 122 years of history and over the years has developed and produced shoes not only for running. In past years, tennis shoes had also been made. We will relaunch, with the silhouette of the Jazz, a shoe, to which we refer as Court, which will have the typical cassette sole of tennis, there will be a classic leather variant and another that will instead be eco-sustainable, with 100% natural materials, such as uta, rubber extracts, the internal coating in lano and dyed with natural materials extracted from beetroot and gardenia. It will be called Jazz Court RFG (Run For Good, ndr). 

Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.
Since its inception in the 1920s, jazz music has been an expression of creativity and freedom of movement - a concept that Saucony was inspired by for his sneaker, born from popular roots and which has evolved following the evolutions of lifestyle, athletics and the latest fashion trends.

Are you convinced that the turning point of 2021 will lead the brand towards a new phase?

For us, 2021 will be a very important year. We have never invested so much in the product: in design, research, materials, depth and segmentation of the collection.  We'll have many stories to tell, of which the first was Jazz 81. With the creation of the new product development center in Italy, we have made important investments and opened up a closer and higher quality production horizon. The anniversary of Jazz is the icing on the cake of all these novelties.