Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a letter to simple shoes

Dear Simple Shoes,

I want to love you. Really, I do. I want to love you with your commitment to a 100% sustainable goal, use of materials like recycled tires, hemp, certified organic cotton and more, and vegan offerings. Water-based glue? Brilliant. It’s good to see you’re not sticking to the old ways of doing thing. (Har, har) Ethical supply chain guidelines? Bring it on.

But for all your talk of bringing a new shoetopia to men, women, and children, I have to ask you about this:

I mean, really? Flips? I know us guys aren’t exactly a sophisticated bunch when it comes to fashion, but I find it hard to believe that flip-flops are the best sandals you can come up with for men. Just look at what you’re offering women. Look! Look!

And this one:This one, too:

Oh, and now you’ve just added a new flat to the women’s collection that is just too darned neat. A flat with grommets that can be used in a plain flat, ankle-lace, or Mary Jane configuration. Now that’s what I call bringing the awesome.

Ribbons and grommets, oh my!

Meanwhile, this:


Sure, you could point me in the direction of your ecosneaks. I might even listen, if it weren’t for the fact that I typically don’t care much for wearing shoes and already have all the cooler-than-cool Converse-like sneaks I could want at the moment. When I need to replace them, I’ll come to you if you have something I like. But I’m all about sandals, baby. Ventilation. The open air. The great outdoors. Wiggling my toes, as you so quaintly put it.

Really, Simple Shoes I want to love you. Who doesn’t want to be in cahoots with a nice little shoe company? But being green isn’t enough- you’ve got to deliver the designs too. For everyone. Guys like to wear nice sandals too, you know.

Green + design = shoetopia. Yeah.


Note: Images borrowed from simpleshoes.com and Simple Shoes newsletter for illustrative purposes.


Jenny H said...

Frederik,I do admire your love of fashion; however, I think you are, unfortunately, in the minority of your sex. It's just like formal wear, too - there are countless variations of the female dress, but men? They all get a tux. Personally, I think it's because a majority of males just don't care. They go with what's simple, and the fashion market just goes with that. Correct me if I'm wromg here...

Frederik Sisa said...

I can't disagree with you, Jenny. At least, not entirely. Even I tend to lean towards the simple despite preferring my pragmatic to have some unique details or design qualities to add some zing.

However, I have to wonder to what extent it's a catch-22. Men wear simple fashions, so no one other than high-end or highly esoteric designers offers more imaginative options. But since no one offers more imaginative fashions at affordable prices, men don't think about it and thus stick with the simple clothes. And it's not just that men don't think about it; our culture as a whole doesn't think about it.

Maybe the question is this: do women find "fashionable" guys (that is, guys who create a fashion identity for themselves as opposed to merely being trendy or outré) more attractive than guys who just do jeans and t-shirts or polos and shorts? It seems to me that there are differences in standards of attractiveness being applied to women and men, both on individual and societal levels, with the result that women are held to considerably higher standards than men. I guess what I'm saying is that men don't care because they don't have to care, whereas society doesn't allow women that option. What do you think?

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