When Chad Birenbaum was 12 years old, he wasn’t doodling superheroes and dragons, he was drawing shoes. “I had a friend who was a big sneaker-head,” he says. “And I would always draw his Air Jordans.” More than 20 years later, Birenbaum has turned his childhood talent into a fashion-design company, 100 Styles and Running. Along with his brother Evan, Birenbaum founded this Owings Mills-based company, which produces athletic-inspired fashion, particularly shoes and hoodies. “We’ve become sort of an off-court brand for athletes,” Birenbaum says. “It treads the line between fashion and sportswear.” The brand, which includes seven styles of shoes, has been worn by such celebrities as Akon, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, and Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. Birenbaum says he’s proud that his company (100styles.com) is Baltimore-based. “Baltimore sort of has its own style,” he says. “Five years ago, you wouldn’t have seen an inner-city kid in skinny jeans. But, now kids are becoming more open to different styles.
Shoes from an Owings Mills company are becoming celebrity favorites.
Issue date: April, 2012