Entrepreneur Miguel Lozano, an 18-year-old Florida college sophomore, is the latest to enter the direct-to-consumer footwear space with today’s launch of a Kickstarter campaign for his new line Gambino Alliance. The campaign is set to run for 40 days, with a $20,000 goal.
The debut collection of Italian-made, comfort-driven styles includes a Chelsea boot and derby style, available in a range of colorful suedes. The lightweight shoes mimic the comfort of a sneaker, according to Lozano, and feature a memory-foam insole and superlightweight outsoles.
While the brand’s name may have negative connotations, inspired by the infamous Gambino family, Lozano said he chose it since it’s well known and maintains a cool factor today. According to Lozano, the shoes are about empowerment, made of durable materials that can stand up to the elements, as well as for leaders who want to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Lozano stepped into the shoe industry as a teen when he started buying apparel from various wholesalers and selling directly to consumers through various distribution channels. But his passion for footwear dominated and he decided to hone in on shoes, eventually launching a shoe boutique through which he sold exclusive sneakers to celebrities and others waiting to snag a pair of limited-edition kicks.
The Kickstarter campaign gives supporters a chance to reserve a pair, set for delivery in June. A pledge of $169 gets you the Derby Low, while $189 entitles you to the same style and a shoe-care kit.
To snag the Chelsea boot, it will take a pledge of $239, while $339 gets you two pairs of the Derby style. For big spenders, a pledge of $5,500 entitles you to a custom-art shoe by artist Arturo Correa featuring a likeness of either Marilyn Monroe or Kim Kardashian.