Etnies Taps Sal Barbier as Creative Director of Its New SLB by Etnies Line

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Sal Barbier, who designed his signature Etnies Sal 23 pro model shoe that debuted thirty years ago, is back with the brand.

Specifically, Etnies announced Barbier will serve as the creative director of its new SLB by Etnies line. In a statement, Etnies said Barbier’s influence as a skateboarder, designer and creative director makes him ideal for this role.

“I always designed out of necessity. I have a different point of view than the current marketplace. I am going to unapologetically make a skate shoe, and I need a hardcore skate shoe company to do that. I want to work with Etnies to create something so special for skateboarders that makes the outside world take notice again,” Barbier said in a statement. “My history with Etnies makes this a very honest project, having skateboarders at the top of the company running things matters to me. I couldn’t find a better partner for these reasons.”

Etnies said in a statement that Barbier will build the SLB by Etnies line “with a focus on style and function from the perspective of a skateboarder.” The partnership, Etnies said, will begin with the relaunch of the Sal 23 for holiday 2024, and the SLB by Etnies collection will launch in spring 2026.

Etnies Sal 23
The Etnies Sal 23 for holiday 2024.

“Sal’s return to Etnies isn’t just a homecoming; it’s a full circle moment. His passion for skating, design and aesthetics embodies the very essence of skateboarding; his influence is woven into the fabric of our culture,” Etnies global brand director Brian Cook said in a statement. “As a true renaissance man, locking Sal in long term breathes new life in Etnies at a time when the brand is rediscovering itself. We are beyond excited to have him back in the driver’s seat for the SLB collection. Pedal to the metal.”

Aside from designing the Etnies Sal 23 that was released in 1994, Barbier’s history with the brand includes him skating in the brand’s Rap High shoe in the Plan B “Questionable” skateboard film.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at

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