Gender neutral footwear. What does that even mean? Why should I care?
THIS IS THE FACE of a little tomboy who hates class picture day because she has this sense of how little girls are "supposed to" be and it doesn't match how she wants to be or feels inside. all of her little-girl-friends are smiling and happy because they get to wear their special clothes and smile pretty for the camera, but she's miserable because she hates dresses and the way princess seams feel and doesn't want anything with the little mermaid on it. she wants legos.
for the little tomboy, the annual trip to buy shoes before the new school year is particularly hard. she looks ever wistfully at the other side of the store, the little boys' side, with the pump tongue reebok hightops and the sleek nikes with blues and neon green swooshes. she can't explain why the pink ones JUST WON'T SUFFICE because she's, like, six years old and doesn't have the vocabulary.
this little tomboy grows up and becomes a shoe designer (AND super queer.) "i'll become so good they'll have to listen to me and finally i'll have the shoes i want" she thinks. she tries her best and it doesn't work. once again she is told what women are supposed to want and despite being a woman who doesn't want 'that', she has to listen and comply anyway bc student loans.
'fuck this' she finally says, and moves to berlin. from there she travels to portugal, where rumor has it there is a resurgent footwear industry. in fact it's true, and she finds a manufacturer willing to hear her out. "i want to makes shoes, like the kind for men, only in sizes for women," she tells them. it's a bit confusing at first, because, you know, "women don't wear those kinds of shoes" but eventually she is able to convince them to 'just do it' (please) and let her take care of the rest.
so, finally, she has them. it's taken her nearly a year, four trips to portugal, and the staggering generosity and help of numerous kind souls to develop her perfect leather shoe-babies, and she (okay, i) want to finally share them with you, dear friends.
this project is called MATRIARCH, because #smashthepatriarchy. for real tho, how are we all not exhausted by the idea (edit: reality*) of men getting all the cool shit first? all the footwear people know this as 'shrink it and pink it'. it's real you guys. let's #topple this crazy thing.
there's this amazing blog called Qwear, and it's about, you guessed it, queering up fashion / the things we wear. it's run by the super, kind, awesome Sonny Oram, who has just written up the very first article about Matriarch.
MATRIARCH is about making sure -everyone- can get quality shoes, regardless of gender or foot size. if you relate to this in any which way, or if you just want a pair of cool, sustainable shoes (coming asap on Kickstarter), please check out the article (link below) and our* website: