Oliver Cabell, a luxury accessories label, is looking to disrupt the premium footwear industry with handmade sneakers and full transparency.
What does full transparency mean exactly? Oliver Cabell tells you exactly how much it cost to make its sneakers, from material costs to import duty – it's all laid out on the website.
The brand will begin offering two styles, Low 1 and Rennes (an elegant low-top silhouette, and a luxury leather athletic design, respectively).
It will implement a “drop of the week” release model, selling new styles in small batches weekly.
We're really impressed with what Oliver Cabell has achieved in such a short amount of time. The first batch of designs look great, and the openness is refreshing.
The brand's venture into shoes actually happened by accident.
Oliver Cabell produces all of its accessories (a rather fetching range of travel bags and backpacks (opens in new tab)) in the Marche region of Italy, which happens to be the mecca for luxury shoes.
Scott Gabrielson, Founder of Oliver Cabell, explains, “We came across a set of old, dusty sneaker molds in our factory, and I thought it was a real treasure, and that we could make something really unique with them.
"We decided to make a pair with the molds, and after 22 samples we ended up with our first sneaker, the Low1. We became so obsessed with footwear that we decided to focus on them almost exclusively going forward.”
All of the trainers will be handcrafted using old-school techniques and the finest materials.
The brand uses full grain leather from the Veneto region of Italy (the same tannery that supplies Prada and Saint Laurent), and soles from the iconic Italian suppliers Margom and Dami.
Scott explains, “We seek out companies that focus on making one thing really well, and partner with them for the long-term. For instance, when it came to laces, we were searching for the best laces around. Even though we were close to the industry and know where to find laces, nothing fit what we were looking for.
"We wanted to use high quality, waxed cotton laces. Unfortunately, there are just so many crappy laces everywhere. In the end, we found an old factory who still made them. They have been producing those laces for 115 years, so of course we had to use them.”
Of course, you'd expect all of this to come at a cost, but by producing small batches and selling straight to consumers, Oliver Cabell is able to keep prices down.
The Low 1 are available for $178 (around £130) while the Rennes come in at $188 (around £135).
The first styles are available on Oliver Cabell's website now (opens in new tab), with the brand offering styles for men and women. You can also check out which styles are arriving in the following weeks.
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