company_name = Starbury, Inc.
company_type = Private
Stephon Marburyand Steve & Barry's
location = flagicon|USA
key_people = flagicon|USA
Stephon Marbury, Ben Wallace
industry = Clothing line
products = Sneakers, apparel
homepage = http://www.starbury.com/
Starbury, Inc. is an American
brandof sneakers and clothing endorsed by NBA players Stephon Marburyand Ben Wallace, and marketed by Steve and Barry's. The line was launched in September 2006, as a pair of $14.99 basketball shoes to compete with higher priced products endorsed by celebrity athletes. Stephon Marbury and Steve and Barry's claim that the products are of the same level of quality as more expensive alternatives.
Marbury remembers growing up in Brooklyn, NY, and not being able to afford the latest shoes. [http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/86811.php] Having been inspired by a professor at Georgia Tech, Marbury has for a long time wanted to offer high-quality, inexpensive shoes to future generations of kids and basketball players, so that they would not have his same dilemma. He took this idea to
Steve & Barry's, popular for on-campus university & college focused retailing. They agreed to manufacture the shoes in China, and to market them, with a third party involved to prevent sweatshop conditions. [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061002/southpaw "The athletic shoe industry is notorious for some of the most appalling of sweatshop conditions. Are the Starbury Ones, made in China, produced in such a manner? Schacter says no. "We are a member of the Fair Labor Association," he says."] Marbury has so much confidence in his product that he has chosen to wear Starbury shoes exclusively while playing in the NBA starting with the 2006-07 season.
During the clothing lines inception, Marbury went across the US appearing at malls to do promotion. In addition, he was interviewed by
Oprah Winfrey, " Good Morning America", " Good Day New York", " Live with Regis and Kelly", Rachael Rayand many other national media outlets.
Marbury's initial shoe lineup entitled "Starbury" includes "The Starbury One," a basketball shoe which Stephon wore all season on the New York Knicks, "Starbury Crossovers," a classic "Air Force One"-style shoe which is listed at $9.98 USD, "Starbury Cyclones," shoes with similar styling to "New Balance" shoes, also retailed at $9.98 USD, and finally the "Starbury SXM," another basketball shoe listed at $9.98. Not only does the "Starbury" brand feature shoes but it also sells low priced clothes. The initial lineup includes
varsity jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, jerseys, track jackets and pants, dazzle pants, jeans, jean jackets, and warm-up outfits, all under $10.
According to Andy Todd, president of Steve & Barry's, the Starbury line will expand from 50 products to over 200 for Spring 2007. The line will include "The Starbury Two" sneaker, polo shirts, skateboard shoes, and other lifestyle products; all under $15 dollars. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/magazine/11wwlnconsumed.t.html]
On April 1st 2007, Stephon Marbury released yet another pair of low-price NBA quality sneakers known as the "Starbury Two". This shoe will also be endorsed by current
Cleveland Cavaliersplayer Ben Wallace. Wallace now also has his own shoe, the "Big Ben", which came out on October 29, 2007, according to the Steve & Barry's website. The "Big Ben" also appeared in the music video The Rebirth by Christian hip hop artists Carriers Of the Cross. Other sneaker models which debuted on April 1st include a low-top version of the Starbury II, the "Starbury Team" (a high-top sneaker), the "Crossover LE" (the next incarnation of the low-top "Crossover") and has a "shiny" patent leathertexture to it similar to Bape's "Bape-sta" sneaker, the "SXM Trainer" - the design is radically changed from the first "SXM" model, now a low-top cross-trainer made of nubuck material, the "Cyclone II" (sequel to the "Cyclone"), a nubuckjogging shoe, the "Bowery" (a low profile casual shoe), the "Surfside" (a nubuck skate shoe), and the "Tornado" (a running shoe).
New shoes include the SSE (Signature Special Edition), Danger, Marquis, Mirage, Downtown, Crib, Rush, Troy, and Trex.
Despite Marbury putting up subpar numbers, in 2006-07, the shoes still sold well and even former teammate
Steve Francishad shown his support by wearing the sneakers in games. [http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/9857146] Some pairs have managed to sell for almost double the price on eBay auction listings. BusinessWeek named the line one of its best products of 2006.
Findings on shoe quality
On March 23, 2007, Starbury was featured in a segment on the ABC show
20/20(edition entitled "Enough!"), hosted by John Stossel. The segment dealt with the high price of sneakers and the role of Starbury and Marbury as an alternative. During the show, Marbury stated "If you take my shoe and you take a $150 shoe, cut it down in half, and it do the same exact thing". Stossel put Marbury's statement to the test and a pair of Starbury Ones were brought to Professor Howard Davis, Shoe Design department professor at Parsons The New School for Design. Davis proceeded to cut apart the Starbury Ones and a pair of "$100 plus Air Jordans" and stated "They're constructed the same way". Stossel then mentioned that "others in the business" came to the same conclusion. However, Davis never commented on the quality of materials, nor the durability of the Starbury One; only that they were constructed in a similar fashion to Air Jordans.
In May 2007,
Bryant Gumbelhad an expert disassemble and analyze the shoes. He determined the materials in Starbury shoes were inferior to more expensive shoes, and wouldn't last as long, but that the shoes were still a better price value. Consumer Reportshas tested the quality of the Starbury One and Starbury II [ [http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/sports-exercise-equipment/starbury-one-basketball-shoe-10-07/overview/star-ov.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=starbury| ConsumerReports.org - "A cheap-chic shoe scores points" October 2007] ] . The Starbury One "earned decent marks in our earlier tests", according to Consumer Reports. As for the Starbury II, six of nine "men' s summer basketball league" players hired by Consumer Reports to test the shoe stated "they would not buy the Starbury II for basketball--they said it provided less comfort, stability, or impact absorption than their favorite shoe". Consumer Reports concluded "our measurements showed that its heel cushioning is very good, its forefoot cushioning is good, and that it's very breathable and fairly flexible" and "The Starbury II would be a fine casual, everyday shoe"
*youtube|m279k4jVe3Q|Stephon Marbury interview with Forbes.com about the Starbury $15 shoe
* [http://www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=318 Profile of Starbury] at
* [http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/sports-exercise-equipment/starbury-one-basketball-shoe-10-07/overview/star-ov.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=starbury Consumer Reports review of the Starbury II
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