Pierre André Senizergues,founder and CEO of Sole Technology, at his house in Malibu, CA, on January 9, 2009.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.

Sole Technology and its founder/CEO, Pierre André Senizergues

Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.

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It was founded in 1986 by Frenchman Pierre André Senizergues, 45, who came to the United States a year earlier to become one of the premier professional freestyle skateboarders. Senizergues began skateboarding at the age of 15 in his hometown of L'Hay-les-Roses, just outside Paris in France. He later obtained an engineering degree from the Institut Universitaire de Technologie Paris XI. During his career, Senizergues won 12 French Championships, nine European Cup Titles, five European Championships, two World Cup Events and one World Championship.

In 1988, Pierre André Senizergues began riding and designing skate shoes for the newly launched French shot brand, etnies, including his first pro model, the Senix, and other key styles. They were created with skateboarders in mind and consisted of a unique blend of fashion, durability and quality. A year later, Senizergues began distribution throughout the U.S. and later gained full rights to the etnies name worldwide. He later launched additional footwear and apparel brands, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo, and consolidated all under the Sole Technology umbrella. Today, Sole Technology is based in Lake Forest, California, with over 400 employees and US$200 million in revenues.

Senizergues has taken footwear technology to another level with the development of the Sole Technology Institute (STI), the world’s first and only biomechanics research facility dedicated to studying the impacts of skateboarding and other action sports on the human body.

The 10,000 square foot laboratory has state-of-the-art testing equipment and a variety of obstacles like mini ramps, handrails, stairs and ledges. STI studies every successful landing and fall in order to get a better understanding and learn more about the movements and impacts incurred by action sports athlete’s bodies.

Senizergues is an ardent advocate of the environment and he devotes resources to implement an aggressive sustainability strategy with a full commitment to corporate responsibility. This goal is achieved with the installation of over 600 solar panels on top of the main building, the conversion to water-based cement manufacturing, the introduction of waterless urinals, the launch of a sustainable footwear and apparel collection, the etnies SEED Project, and the conduct of an eco-audit to study the impact of the company's business practices to develop more environmentally friendly solutions.

Pierre André Senizergues also dedicates resources to the youth with the construction of the 40,000 square-foot etnies Skate park of Lake Forest located at Sole Technology’s headquarters. Entrance is free of charge.

Senirzegues lives in the Los Angeles Area with his girlfriend Sara Sheen and their 4-month old son Mateo.


Text by Mimi Rohr
© Mimi Rohr

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Jeremy Determan, Lab Manager at Sole Technology Institute, working on the prototype of a new boot flex machine for snowboard boots at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Scotty Cox, Assistant Lab Manager at Sole Technology Institute, measuring the thickness of a new piece of the System G2 Platinum cushioning technology for quality control  at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Scotty Cox, Assistant Lab Manager at Sole Technology Institute, putting a new piece of the System G2 Platinum cushioning technology into a shoe for high impact testing at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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A display at the lab of Sole Technology Institute  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009, of various iterations and pieces of the System G2 cushioning technology developed by Sole Technology for action sports shoes and boots over the years.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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A display at the lab of Sole Technology Institute  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009, of various cushioning technologies used in action sports shoes. Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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A display at the lab of Sole Technology Institute  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009, of the soles of action sports shoes. Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Scotty Cox, Assistant Lab Manager at Sole Technology Institute, taking a picture of a subject on the foot morphology platform  at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009. The photo will later be fed into a computer and 3-D measurements will be made of the shape of the foot to help build better fitting shoe lasts.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Ron Therrio, Model Maker at Sole Technology Institute, carving a prototype sole into a high density foam at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009. The models are then shipped to the shoe manufacturers who use them as a reference.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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A prototype shoe made of high density foam at the lab of STI lab  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009. The model is then shipped to the shoe manufacturers who use it as a reference.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Ron Therrio, Model Maker at Sole Technology Institute  in Lake Forest, CA, on January 8, 2009, holding two forms of the same shoe: the model he made out of high density foam(L) and the final and real shoe (R) that is sold in stores.  Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Entrance to the etnies skatepark of Lake Forest on January 7, 2009. At over 40,000 square feet, the park is one of the largest in the United States and is sponsored by etnies. The park was opened in 2003 and entrance is free of charge.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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Skateboarders enjoying the etnies skatepark of Lake Forest on January 7, 2009. At over 40,000 square feet, the park is one of the largest in the United States and is sponsored by etnies. The park was opened in 2003 and entrance is free of charge.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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A skateboarder performs at the etnies skatepark of Lake Forest on January 7, 2009. At over 40,000 square feet, the park is one of the largest in the United States and is sponsored by etnies. The park was opened in 2003 and entrance is free of charge.   Sole Technology is the world’s largest privately owned action sport footwear and apparel company represented in more than 70 countries. Its seven top brands include etnies, etnies Girl, etnies Plus, éS, Emerica, Altamont Apparel and ThirtyTwo.
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