Gio Diev Launches Unisex Sneaker, Celebrates Marriage Equality

Gio Diev is kicking things up a notch with a new unisex sneaker — and celebrating marriage equality with a new campaign.

The New York-based designer is debuting his Seattle sneaker at retail in February 2016. It is designed for both men and women and will retail for $445.

The silhouette and detailing are influenced by the universe created by George Miller in his “Mad Max” movies.

“We launched a hybrid brogue sneaker last season, and we received many requests for it from guys who asked us to make it in their sizes,” said Gio Metodiev. “It felt like a natural next step based on the response from our customers. Men seem to be a lot more open to crazier, funky styles than they were in the past.

“Culturally, I also sense a shift where gender specifics, in terms of style and behavior, are becoming antiquated norms that no longer seem to matter to millennials. I definitely see pumps becoming a thing of the past and more of a niche, segmented part of the market. I’ll always have a love for a beautiful stiletto, but just as women got rid of binding corsets at one time in history, I feel the sky-high pumps will eventually turn into a stage/red carpet prop. So in this sense, I do see sneakers and other new types of shoes moving to the forefront of footwear.”

A new social media campaign featuring photographs of pairs of legs — “hers and his,” “hers and hers” and “his and his” — will support the launch. Its aim is to celebrate marriage equality.

“Allowing for two souls to love each other and be together seems so natural and logical, but the fact is, this was not possible until only a few months ago,” said Metodiev. “Establishing marriage equality was such a great leap in equal rights, not only for the LGBT community but also for all human beings. If you had asked me a few years back, I would have not believed it would become a reality in my lifetime. I was profoundly touched and inspired to celebrate this milestone in our history as a human race. So this campaign is really a celebration of that.”

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