Nothing gets us more excited than a local brand with a passion for technology and modern design. Last week we visited People Footwear's headquarters; an unassuming work/live space in Vancouver's South Granville area filled with the "high-performance leisure" shoes that have been the focus of magazine features worldwide. Peek inside People's paradise and learn what makes an ultra-comfortable shoe, why the Vancouver lifestyle is such an inspiration, and what's next for this burgeoning brand.
As a Vancouver-based brand, do you feel the city influences the design and direction of the shoes?
Our team is comprised of several native Vancouverites and with all the travelling, we are constantly reminded how lucky we are to call Vancouver home. It’s pretty special that we have mountains, sea and city all so close together. Vancouver is laid back and you need shoes that can take you from an impromptu bike ride to drinks on a patio at any given time. This lifestyle inspires our use of materials and construction techniques when conceptualizing new footwear. We also pay homage to our city by naming some of our products, like the Cypress (new for Fall 2015), after our local mountain.
As a brand that's excited about creating quality footwear with the "most far-out materials" and "futuristic techniques," what materials are you most excited about incorporating into your styles?
We pride ourselves on being a tech-forward brand and our product is a reflection of that. Our product philosophy is "high-performance leisure," which means technical performance products ideal for leisurely pursuits. Our DreamKnit collection is a prime example of this using digitally-knit uppers to create an ultra-breathable and super comfortable shoe. We're the first casual footwear brand utilizing this technology and we're excited to grow the collection and introduce more weaving techniques, colours and silhouettes. We're still learning what is possible with this technology and we're pushing ourselves to continue to bring something fresh to the industry.
People Footwear has been doing some exciting collaborations with other local brands, and sharing stories about innovative businesses and individuals in the city. How do you feel this community building and engagement influences the creativity and direction of People Footwear?
Given that we're named People Footwear, we've made it a point to ensure the brand reflects its name. We are about more than selling shoes. We are about people in general - whether they are wearing our shoes or making them. The collective spirit of human beings is a focal point for us so collaborating with others and highlighting community is certainly a part of that. Our creativity derives mainly from the things that are important to us such as travelling and working with like-minded people.
People is jumping 'feet first into the future'...what does the future hold for People Footwear?
Right now we are focused on expanding the brand globally and selecting the best partners in order to assist in this process. As of Fall/Winter 2015 we will be in 14 countries around the world, and this number is rapidly increasing with several additional partners in the works for Spring/Summer 2016. That, and continuing to make innovative products that people are excited to wear. We have 6 new silhouettes coming out for Spring 2016 and we're confident our consumers, and the industry, are going to be very responsive. It’s a very exciting time for the brand. Feet first into the future.