As warm weather approaches, footwear company Native Shoes asks, “Have you gone outside lately?” The brand’s new spring/summer 2014 campaign, created in collaboration with creative agency the Madbury Club, revolves around the story of a quirky modern family on the heels of spring. The collection itself is also about discovery and keeping it “lite”—the company ethos. “If you don’t love to explore new territories, you’re just going to be catching vapours,” says creative director Mark Gainer of the brand’s new designs for spring.
This season’s colours range from pale shades of purple to bright red hues, and sees the return of the brand’s signature slip-on styles, including the Jefferson and the Verona. Bold print editions round out the collection as well with polka dots, chevron patterns, colour-blocking, and florals. “This is the first time we’ve really [focused on] prints,” says CEO Scott Hawthorn. Thanks to a water transfer printing process, designs can properly adhere to the foam-injection moulded-EVA shoes. “Traditionally it’s been really difficult to print something on EVA. It’s taken a while for the technology to come around but it’s there now. We’re hoping it resonates with people and we can play around with that and make it a part of the narrative going forward.”
Marrying aesthetic and activity seems to be the sweet spot for the Vancouver-based brand, no matter the season. “We view ourselves as an innovative shoe company that plays in a fun fashion-forward area,” Hawthorn continues. “We’re taking traditional styles and fusing them with new fabrics and technologies, all with the intention of making future classics.” With styles that play on traditional forms such as the mid-rise camping boot or nautical top-siders, future designs push the boundaries even further “These are actually prototypes,” says Gainer, gesturing to his shoes. “This is Japanese microfibre … It’s been really exciting to inject some new material into our toolbox, a real game changer.”
Since its beginnings in 2009, the brand has grown its distribution to 45 countries worldwide, cushioning the steps of people from Canada to Dubai to Japan. Director of global marketing Shawna Olsten underscores the importance of building strong collaborations to continue this worldwide expansion. “We’ve done stuff with Marc Jacobs. We’ve done some stuff recently with the Good Design Shop for Comme des Garçons. Those are important because [Native Shoes] is an unfamiliar product to many people. They don’t know where to place it right away—it could be the art world, or the beach.” No matter the placement, these are shoes built for life’s many pursuits. Whether on the shores, in the woods, or in the city, the new collection is a versatile accompaniment for all of your spring exploration.