Do it Yourself
Attention aspiring designers! To help amateurs gain quick experience in crafting shoes, former footwear maker Olivier Rabbath founded How to Make Boots From Your Garage, a series of classes in Brooklyn, N.Y., that teaches beginners how to build shoes from scratch. “I want to remind Americans this is a country of entrepreneurship and to get back in touch with their independence,” Rabbath said. Several courses are available, and students are required to bring their own materials. Prices for sessions at the studio range from $375 for 15 hours to $2,700 for 120 hours. Free courses are also offered for children ages 7 to 10. And as the shoe program approaches its one-year anniversary next month, Rabbath said he hopes to expand the classes to other locations. – Lauren LaDeau
San Francisco residents should keep an eye out on rainy days. Tretorn is taking its business on the road with the Wellie Wagon, a mobile shop that offers product to customers in need of a new pair of rubber boots. The navy van, advertised with cheeky sayings like “Need rubbers?” and “My other rubber is a wellie,” is making its way through the Bay Area until May, choosing a new location each day. Styles available will rotate depending on the weather, and $1 from every pair sold is donated to the San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council. The location of Tretorn’s Wellie Wagon can be tracked by following @TretornSWE on Twitter. – L.L.
Freewaters is helping to bring clean water to people who need it. The sandal company has a goal of providing clean drinking water to 40,000 people in impoverished countries this year through its eponymous direct-cause initiative, Freewaters.org. Three percent of each pair of sandals sold goes to building water wells around the world. Freewaters’ first well, in Kitale, Kenya, was completed in January, and a second well in the country is already under way. With retail prices ranging from $28 to $100, Freewaters products are available at select surf shops nationwide and Freewaters.com. – Gerald Flores
Watch on FN
Reebok and Emporio Armani are together again. The Canton, Mass.-based athletic brand collaborated once more with the fashion house, this time for a limited line of Reebok ZigTech trainers. The collection includes two unisex styles — the EA7 ZigLace and EA7 ZigPump — and one style just for women, the EA7 ZigTech Nano. The sneakers feature mesh, nylon, leather and patent materials and are available in several colorways for each style. Introduced for spring, the shoes will be sold at Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Reebok.com, for $140 to $300 retail. – L.L.