The Vancouver, British Columbia-based label, which launched its line of women’s flip-flops and sandals in December 2016, is readying its first men’s styles for spring ’18.
“It was always our plan, but as soon as we launched, people were asking for men’s right away. We decided to get going and offer it this season,” said co-founder Jennifer Rainnie, who oversees sales, marketing and design, while partner Baseer Khudayar handles distribution and logistics.
Rainnie is a beachwear veteran, with previous stints at brands such as Roxy and Havaianas, and she noticed a void in the market for product aimed at young consumers. “There needed to be something with more of a neutral color palette and that also was current,” she said.
Malvados’ women’s line comprises three collections — the sporty Playa flip-flops, the Luxe slim-fit flip-flops and the Icon fashion sandals — which retail for $20 to $50.
For men, it will offer two styles, the Playa and the Jack, which will be priced at $25 to $50.
Rainnie said the brand has an earthy, neutral palette. “But we didn’t just use standard Pantones for our colors and straps,” she explained. “We combined and made iridescents to create our own color story.”
The founders also set out to create a youthful identity. Malvados (Spanish for “wicked”) draws inspiration from music and travel.
In fact, its styles are named after cocktails and rock stars. “The demographic we’re selling to is really about experience — that’s what our branding has been all about,” said Rainnie, noting that the label tapped musicians and creatives as its brand ambassadors to build buzz.
Those efforts appear to be paying off. Malvados has more than 700 retail accounts, including Flip Flop Shops, Bikini.com and Zumiez.
Looking ahead, Rainnie’s primary goals are to introduce additional men’s styles and develop a presence at major music festivals.