Meet The Everlane For Designer Shoes: OneGround
It's no secret that both men's and women's designer dress shoes and sneakers are marked up by an egregious percentage. Not only are you paying for the physical shoe of alleged "better quality," but also the pricey celebrity ad campaigns, a retailer mark-up, and, of course, the cache of wearing a big-name on your feet. But it's 2014, and Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo are rich enough. It's time for change. And lucky for us, it's coming, thanks to OneGround.
The dudes behind OG, inspired by the success of high-quality, direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker and Everlane, are bringing that very business model to the footwear sector, and have just unveiled a trio of top-notch, designer-inspired casual kicks for $99 a pop.
Pay attention, because this may very well be how you'll be buying shoes in the very near future.
The three founders of OG have just launched a Kickstarter to bring their idea to the mass market, which they're uniquely qualified to make happen thanks to their respective backgrounds in fashion and e-commerce; one of their families has owned one of the largest shoe factories in Turkey for generations. As co-founder Nilton Duque told Supercompressor last week, "That's what you might call our secret sauce."
Their initial launch of three sneakers—a low-rise, slip-on, and chukka—have the look and feel of something you might expect from Common Projects or APC. Only instead of setting you back $400, these are less than $100.
That lower price point does not reflect shoddier quality, though. In fact, the opposite may be true, as they're using exclusively top-of-the-line materials (100% calfskin leather, suede liners, waxed laces, etc.), and entrusting artisans with 50+ years of experience to oversee the hand-stitching and meticulous details needed to make a shoe that lasts.
Plus, unlike the bulk of designers who outsource to foreign factories with shaky labor practices for quick turnaround, they're planning to make the whole process transparent to the consumer by providing a step-by-step look into the production process. That way, there's no guessing where, or who, your shoes came from.
Once things kick into high gear, the plan is to drop new styles on the regular and eventually unveil a line of dress shoes to further save your wallet. They're also toying with the idea of offering a tiered subscription service, where you sign up to automatically receive a fresh pair as frequently or infrequently as you want.
It's never too early to think of how you'll be spending all that extra cash.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor and owns more shoes than he's proud of.