This Former Sperry Exec Is Hoping to Spark a Movement With Color-Changing Shoes

Jeannette Kearney and former Sperry executive Dave Mesicek are giving “solar power” a new meaning.

The two have teamed up to launch Suns, a line of women’s and girls’ canvas vulcanized sneakers featuring prints and patterns that change color when exposed to sunlight. The changes also can be activated with a small UV light keychain that comes with each pair.

Conceived with Kearney’s husband, former Sperry president Craig Reingold (who was tapped in June to lead Honeywell’s global retail business), Suns is about much more than just cool-looking shoes, however. The brand’s ultimate mission is to inspire people to spread positivity in their everyday lives through random acts of kindness.

“There is so much negativity in the world, but we believe that practicing kindness and empathy can make a big difference, especially among kids,” explained Mesicek, who served as Sperry’s director of marketing from 2010 to 2015. “We had this idea of the sun as a beacon of positive energy, warmth and happiness, and the color-change effect links up perfectly with that.”

Suns’ shoes feature prints and patterns that change color when exposed to sunlight.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Priced $40 to $60, the shoes debuted in May exclusively at launch partners Shoe Carnival and Tilly’s.

“They’re both fantastic retailers that reach our target audience,” said Mesicek, noting that the brand plans to broaden its wholesale distribution in 2018. “Our cause is No. 1, so we want to do this right and partner with retailers that are able to tell our story in a meaningful way.”

Suns offers both lace-up and slip-on styles for kids and adults.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Suns also is working with a network of online influencers to help share its message organically through social media.

As the brand grows, Mesicek and Kearney aim to add men’s and boys’ shoes to the mix and introduce additional technologies related to the sun. “We want to explore other ideas and design concepts that will help us spread our movement even further,” Mesicek said.

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