First time I heard about Toms Shoes was in 2008, actually I learned this brand from the pitch of an agency when they talked about branding. Love the whole idea behind is the One for One campaign that they are running. “With every product you purchase, Toms will help a person in need. One for one.” I just love the idea that when I purchase a pair of shoes, I am actually helping someone, a child on the other side of the world, that they are going to get a pair of shoes as well! Love the idea of how they focus on the corporate social responsibility.
Besides that, the design of the shoes is actually looking great! Inspired by the Argentine Alpargata / Espadrille design, reminds me a bit of the 90s grunge with a 70s hippie touch. Last Summer, this Espadrille look was so hot, Toms Shoes was riding on the trend, more and more people get to know them and wear their shoes. I actually found Toms Shoes very comfortable, and easy to mix and match. They do have some styles that are in material like leather or lace, so you can also wear them to work without looking way too casual.
My husband is also the big fan of Toms Shoes, but it’s difficult for him to get his size here in Hong Kong, as he is with big foot. So every time if I travel to USA, for sure I will buy online and get them shipped to hotel and bring them back home. In order to make sure we have a good amount of Toms Shoes to wear for 2 years.
The sad thing is, every time I see someone on the street wearing something looking like Toms Shoes, but actually they are not, I feel kind of upset. I think Toms Shoes got a very unique design on how they cut the fabric, and I don’t understand how people just copy exactly the design and put another label, and sell it for a cheaper price. I guess most people buying that doesn’t care, but the part I feel sad about is the One for One campaign. Just wondering if people know about what Toms Shoes does, would they rather go and buy Toms Shoes? Of course, on the other side, some people are also skeptical about this One for One thing, they think that is just a part of marketing tool.
I actually wrote an email to Toms Shoes few years ago when I found the replica version, but they replied me and said there’s nothing they can do about it. Nowadays, you will find at least 4 to 5 brands easily online that just look alike to Toms Shoes. Well, hard to argue, and as design is always about getting inspiration, unless you are totally innovative and remember to get a patent for it!