Tom’s started the trend in consumer consciousness in the shoe arena, and there are more and more brands going that route. One we happened on recently is ohw? (pronounced ‘Who’ as in ‘Who’s signature is in each shoe?’ More on that in a bit). The owners, Stephen Gill and Hiro Chen have a collective 40 years in the industry and the idea stemmed from showcasing the skills of the factory workers they were already working with as well as rolling out a ‘back to basics’line of kicks.
Launching in 2012, each shoe has some hand stitching and is individually hand signed by the person doing the final quality check. The range covers ‘optimum fit’(read: hell yes comfortable) shoes and boots with combination rubber and phylon soles. The latter is more usually found in the midsole of sports shoe constructions, giving ohw? footwear the added benefit of being exceptionally easy to wear.
The factory is located in Zhuhai, in one of the most picturesque areas of the Chinese countryside and is a third generation family-owned business. The factory also has accredited research and development facilities and is Gore-Tex certified. Check out ohw?’s factory page to see more images of the factory and the fun loving staff who have access to basketball, tennis and badminton courts as well as an entertainment room and gym. Never seen that on an Apple site!
As for the shoes, they are refreshingly simple, yet can be worn to the office or on date night. We love the clean single-eyelet HIRO in perforated suede and the CASTRO boot in leather and blue nylon is pretty classic and wouldn’t be laughed at on a camping adventure. This summer the brand is bringing brighter colors to the mix as well both on the uppers as well as soles.
If you are looking for some new summer shoes and want to make sure they are made by happy, basketball playing people, ohw? is your spot.
Currently the collection is available at Nordstrom, Kith (NYC) and Odin (NYC)
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