This post was originally put on the now defunct "What Was I Thinking?" blog on August 20, 2008. Reposted here for your enjoyment.
I know you're saying, "Those are awesome shoes, where can I get them?" These custom NPR Sneakers were featured on a bit on the radio this morning.
The company who makes these shoes is called RYZ. They allow customers to design shoes on their website, online voting for the best happens, and then the top shoe gets selected and sold in outlets around the country. The winning designer gets $1,000 and 1% royalties on the sale of the shoe.
You can check out the current designs and vote (voting for this round of competition ends today). I selected "No Thanks..." because (although there were a lot of awesome designs, art deco, pop-punk, etc.) I liked the idea of a shoe with a statement.
This story wasn't being told just to pimp this shoe manufacturer (which they totally deserve); rather, they were discussing this business model, which decreases design and marketing over-head, as one being adapted by other companies.
Business genius aside, if you were to design a custom sneaker for RYZ, what would it look like? Put your ideas in the comments (or better yet, make one on ryzwear.com and link to your creation). Also, comment on which of the current designs you did (or would) vote for.
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