John Fluevog’s shoes are known collector’s items, but they’ve never caused his website to crash.
That’s just what happened last week when John Fluevog Shoes released a new style in support of the fight against COVID-19 inspired by British Columbia’s chief provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
After seeing photos of Dr. Henry (whose voice of reason for Canada has garnered favorable comparisons to Dr. Anthony Fauci) in his shoes at press briefings, Fluevog and his team reached out to see if the medical officer would like to collaborate on a shoe. As it turned out, Dr. Henry is a “Fluevogger” herself.
“It kind of all snowballed, it was serendipitous,” the designer said in a phone interview.
Fluevog continued to explain that Dr. Henry agreed on the proposal and she decided that 100% of the proceeds would go to Food Banks BC, an umbrella charity that assists food pantries throughout British Columbia. Fluevog added that the whole process took about two weeks to coordinate, delegate and design.
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“We all have circles of influence, it was just imagining and channeling it,” said Fluevog.
The limited-edition shoe, which retailed for $229 USD, went on pre-sale last week on fluevog.com and according to a spokesperson of the brand, sold out in a matter of minutes.
The 400 pairs sold out at 4 p.m. PDT with around 8,000 people just waiting to get on the site. Fluevog’s site was down for around three hours until it was announced the limited-edition shoe had sold out.
Fluevog said that the lucky receivers of the Dr. Henry shoe should expect to get their pair in the late summer due the fact that the shoe factories they work with in Portugal are currently closed. Pre-sale customers will also be kept up to date on the progress via email.
Part of the Operetta family of Fluevogs, the Dr. Henry shoe features interlacing on the uppers, patent leather accents, and Dr. Henry’s own words stamped onto the foot sock, “be kind, be calm and be safe.”
The Dr. Henry buzz, while unrelated, comes as Fluevog is celebrating 50 years in the shoe business. From crafting shoes for stars like Madonna and Lady Gaga, to appearing on plenty of runways throughout the years, the designer’s latest creation once again proves his legacy in channeling the pulse of pop culture — and putting a positive spin on things.
“I’ve gone from [designing for] rock ‘n roll to the intelligentsia,” Fluevog said humorously.