How do you create a good shoe that is resistant to unpredictable weather, like snow, ice, slush and rain, and lives up to high aesthetic standards?
The answer is functional style footwear – a solution crafted by two Finnish footwear professionals who worked for several years to refine many footwear silhouettes inspired by the Nordic taste for timeless style.
If it functioned in Finland, then it would function anywhere else in the world.
Their plan was to produce authentic and good-looking footwear, that was long-lasting and kept your feet dry.
Jukka Lehtinen and Pekka Keinänen (pictured here) worked with a group of freelancer colleagues to design, plan and manufacture these shoes. After countless prototypes in their basement workshop they finally developed the result that they believed was what people wanted.
The Finnish forests, wild moose, bears and wolves are all embedded in the spirit of these shoes that are all designed in their Helsinki workshop, with the shoe production in one of the few remaining traditional shoe factories 100 miles to the North, where skilled workers pass each individual shoe through specially designed tools that carefully cut, sew, glue and finish each shoe separately.
But this is not the end of the story… so far it has taken 5 years for the shoe to finally be placed on shop shelves. The last two years have involved endless journeys to leather suppliers and producers of other shoe parts, arduous attendance of shoe and fashion fairs and premium shops in the US, Japan, Italy France, Switzerland and Germany.
Procuring raw materials, designing their brand, creating networks, marketing and financing from scratch by just two shoe professionals and freelancing colleagues has been an enormous undertaking that every start-up goes through.
Just imagine that these two are competing with shoe giants like Nike, Adidas, Meindl, Common Projects, Red Wing, etc… and yet they now have a started partnerships with a proactive group of shops in Japan, France, UK with new contracts coming from Switzerland and the US.
Marketing and positive results come to those who work hard, take calculated risks and keep on calling, networking and reaching out.
Here is their website