Our quest for the perfect sneaker SHORT
Koio Collective began when we were looking for minimalist, high-quality sneakers on a cold January day in New York, 2014. We found beautiful shoes, created by the Italian and French luxury houses that are known around the world for their style and quality. But every time we asked for a price the answer made us try and forget that we ever liked the shoe. We simply did not feel like it’s reasonable to shell out 600 dollars for a pair of shoes. That’s when we decided to do luxury sneakers ourselves. Accessibly.
Fast forward 6 months: With a design in our hands and a vision in our mind we traveled to Le Marche, Italy. We had received the address of one manufacturer and drove there just after we'd arrived in the region. Looking at their production, however, we were disappointed. The level of quality was not close to our aspiration and we realized that “Made in Italy” really doesn’t guarantee an outstanding product.
We decided to find out who had mastered the art. Our new goal was to discover a cobbler that crafts shoes for the top luxury fashion houses of Europe. The shoemaking community of Civitanova turned out to be very secretive about this and the sought-after cobbler was nowhere to be found. We feared the trip would not prove a success, and prepared for the inevitable and disappointing return home.
On the last day of our visit, we followed one final lead. This brought us to a building that looked completely unassuming from the outside. When we entered the production room, however, we knew that we had found exactly what we were looking for. Lined up and ready to be shipped around the world: sneakers made for one of the most prestigious French fashion houses. Each one of them artfully crafted to the highest level of quality. A perfect fit, you might even say.
We sat down with the owner and told him about our idea. Usually, he works with the most prestigious French fashion houses, but our design and the fresh approach convinced him. We agreed to work together! Over the following weeks, we created a dozen prototypes, working through each round to perfect the comfort and the design of the shoe. When we held the final prototype in our hands, we knew that this collaboration had brought about something special.
Now, after months of exquisite development, and no small portion of blood, sweat, and tears, we are proud to offer this shoe to you. Thanks to the outstanding materials and the care applied during manufacturing, these unique pieces will remain an essential accessory wherever your journey takes you.