Shop Talk: Keen Returns Home… Trua Hits the Road

Keen’s Cali Homecoming
To celebrate a decade in business, Keen opened its second U.S. Keen Garage store over the weekend in Palo Alto, Calif., where the brand was founded. “With our Palo Alto store opening, we’ve come back home,” Linda Balfour, director of marketing, said in a statement. “Our roots are [here] and we’re glad to re-establish a strong presence in the Bay area. We know Bay area residents love to play outdoors, create possibilities and care about the world around them — all values our company embodies.” The 2,800-sq.-ft. shop features more than 300 styles of footwear, bags and socks. Similar to the brand’s other stores, the location also includes repurposed design elements, such as reclaimed flooring, a cash register made from the hoods of Volkswagen Bugs, lockers once used by employees at a Woolworth store, and a chandelier made from discarded wire spool tops and telegraph insulators. “Designing this store with these materials has been like putting together a living, breathing, Keen jigsaw puzzle,” Christa DePoe, VP of global online and retail, said in a statement.

Trua Shoes Goes Mobile
In the latest mobile footwear experiment, Los Angeles-based Trua Shoes has hit the road. The eco-friendly brand recently debuted a mobile boutique, a truck converted into a shoe store that features casual women’s footwear. The goal of the shop on wheels is to share the brand’s products and humanitarian message with customers where they live. “It may seem like something crazy and new, but when we talk to customers, that’s a lot of what they like,” co-founder Daniel Yeh said in a statement. “Our typical customer is someone who leads a fast-paced, busy life. Being able to grab a pair of stylish shoes on the run, without having to find parking at a mall, it makes the Trua mobile store a fun, alternative way to shop.”
Left Shoe in L.A.
Made-to-measure footwear brand The Left Shoe Co. debuted its first American flagship store on Monday in Los Angeles. The 1,700-sq.-ft. shop, located on the city’s trendy Melrose Avenue, features the brand’s luxury footwear, as well as 3-D foot scanners. Once a customer’s foot is measured, it is put into a membership profile, which allows shoppers to order future custom-made shoes either in-store or online. The store offers 23 styles in 10 colorways and materials, with six different sole options. Retail prices start at $395 for custom-made shoes. “Every aspect of our Melrose Avenue store has been designed with the customer experience in mind,” Chief Marketing Officer Nina Tooley said in a statement. “From the design and layout of the store to how we display products to the in-store technology, everything is an extension of our brand and its commitment to quality, style and customization” The brand already counts locations in the U.K., Italy, Dubai, Germany and Japan.

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