How You Can Get Sneakers Designed by Artists Around the World

Bucketfeet Kiwi Kiwi slipon
Bucketfeet's vibrant colored Kiwi Kiwi sneaker, designed by artist Peap Tarr.
Courtesy of brand

Bucketfeet, known for its unique artist-designed kicks, is relaunching today as an on-demand direct-to-consumer business.

With sustainability in mind, the online brand is working to eliminate waste and inventory in favor of a made-to-order approach to its unisex collection of footwear. The innovative supply chain model will enable the company to work with a larger percentage of the artist community, giving customers more choices and guaranteeing their favorite designs will never be out of stock. The new approach also will increase artists’ royalties from $1 a pair to $10. The company will initially offer more than 100 designs for its slip-on style, which retails for $85.

Bucketfeet Down By The Water Bucketfeet’s Down by the Water sneakers, featuring the work of artist Timmy Timore. Courtesy of brand

“With the rise of social media, consumer preferences are changing faster than before. This model allows us to cater to each individual customer’s needs without taking on the inventory risk that is currently devastating traditional retail brands,” explained co-founder Raaja Nemani.

Bucketfeet Apsar Bucketfeet’s Apsar slip-on shoes by Lisa Mann. Courtesy of brand

The company was created by Nemani and fellow entrepreneur Aaron Firestein in 2011. The two met while volunteering in Argentina, where Nemani, an artist, gave Firestein a pair of hand-designed shoes he created that were inspired by the city blocks of Buenos Aires.

The shoes became a topic of conversation as Firestein continued his travels, leading to the creation of the Bucketfeet brand, which now taps into a global community of artists to design its shoes.

Each pair is handmade and delivered to the customer within 10 days of ordering. Artists upload their original work to the Bucketfeet website and submit digitally. The designs are then printed onto the shoes.

Since its launch, Bucketfeet has worked with more than 40,000 artists from 120 countries. It expects to be able to double that number by 2018.