Erica Tullis is aiming to make her mark on the footwear industry.
Tullis, who founded The Breast Cancer Charities of America in 2009, now works with fashion brands as part of her company’s iGoPink: Fashion Fights Breast Cancer initiative.
“Every woman [going through treatment] wants to feel beautiful, and something as simple as a new pair of pink shoes just brightens her day,” said Tullis.
Tullis is working with Charles David on two shoes for fall and two additional looks for spring ’13. The heels all feature a pink sole. Additionally, the charity partnered with Texas-based Bonafide Boots for a pink-and-black cowboy boot, also slated for a fall launch. And once the styles hit the brands’ stores and online, 20 percent of proceeds will go to the foundation.
Here, Tullis discusses making a difference, one shoe at a time.
1. Why are your footwear partners an important part of your company?
ET: We’ve tried to incorporate a fashion-forward method to talking about breast cancer. Our footwear partners help us reach that audience of women that maybe were not paying attention to breast cancer before, yet they read the fashion magazines and follow along. Every woman loves shoes and wants to be seen as fashionable. We say, “Take one step forward in the fight against breast cancer.”
2. How do you plan to expand the footwear portion of your business?
ET: We constantly are looking for new shoe partners to work with that want to incorporate that hot pink tone into their shoes. Our goal is to produce with our partners a wide range of shoes, affordable to high end, that benefit the greater good. It’s the small [detail] of a pink sole, like on our Charles David stilettos, that [show] people there are great companies trying to make a difference in this world.
3. What footwear players would you like to team up with in the future?
ET: We’d love to partner with Nike or Adidas as we focus our education on the importance of fitness, health, nutrition and taking care of your body. It would also be wonderful to partner with everyday brands like Nine West and high-end designers like Jimmy Choo.