Men’s and women’s casual brand Blu Kicks, inspired by Hawaii’s colorful landscape, is expanding its offering with the addition of a companion unisex kids collection. Launching online today, the series of canvas looks in fun, colorful prints, mimics popular styles in the adult collection.
“We wanted to do a kids collection from the beginning,” said co-founder Will Leonard, about the whimsical looks. The debut collection retails for $39 and is available in sizes 6 to 13. It includes three Velcro-strap styles: there’s the Bali Red, a fish pattern; Panama Stripe, a ticking-inspired pattern; and Paradise Floral, a multicolor version. Each sports a nonslip outsole.
The San Francisco-based company was started in a roundabout way by mother-and-son team Will and Victoria Leonard, who were inspired during a family vacation to Hawaii. The two spotted a humuhumunukunukuapua’a fish and thought it looked like a sneaker weaving through the water.
Victoria Leonard proceeded to paint the fish’s blue, black and neon pattern on a white canvas slip-on, prompting the launch of their shoe collection. Since then, the adult line has been expanded to include chukkas and mocs in leather and suede, as well as a concise apparel offering.
While Will takes care of the company’s finances, having previously worked in the investment sector, his mother is the artistic spirit behind the line with professional experience in interior design.
From the get-go, the Leonards have been using the company as an opportunity to give back to Hawaii by raising awareness of endangered environments and habitats. Blu Kicks donates a portion of all sales to a number of environmental organizations.