Ethical fashion line TOMS challenges preconceptions at its S/S 2013 press day
Aside from travelling to random parts of London (that we usually do not visit) and discovering new brands that have been previously off of our radars, one of the best things about the bi-annual press day circuit (where PR and brands showcase their forthcoming lines for the press) is being proved wrong or misguided in general assumptions.
This was exactly the case at TOMS’ SS13 press day at Chiltern Street Studios, which we are loathe to admit that was attended with an ill-conceived preconception of the brand. The brand’s canvas espadrilles Shoreditch cum Essexy ubiquity you see, can make one forget the most important thing about TOMS and that is the admirable One for One cause that is the foundation of the TOMS brand. For every pair of shoes or eyewear purchased, a child in need receives a pair of shoes, or potentially lifesaving eye surgery and/or glasses. In the shallow world of fashion, the story of TOMS is truly inspirational.
The Upcoming was also pleasantly surprised by TOMS’ new direction that the SS13 press day showcased; TOMS is growing up, and whilst not moving away from the aforementioned canvas shoes, branching out into new territory.
Alongside the Shoreditch slipper, TOMS presented two variant ranges for both men and women. The first is a luxe range at a slightly higher price point than the originals, one that comes in a variety of muted colours with faux exotic skins such as snakeskin. The matte black snakeskin was particular covetable with its chic silhouette. TOMS’ product range also features a more “all-purpose” line that encompasses a variety of shoe styles. For men this includes desert and chukka boots, and desert boots also feature for the ladies in both suede and more London friendly toughened canvas that also feature a sexy wedge heel, as do strappy beach holiday ready sandals. Designs range from utilitarian colours to quirky patterns and mock denim, and there is a choice of soles (rubber, cork, or raffia). The TOMS’ kid’s shoes are just too cute: adorable mini versions of the adult shoes that one envisions Hamptons kids running to the beach in.
The press day was also the first time we had encountered TOMS eyewear. The styles are classics; again for both men and women TOMS offer round and square aviators, a take on the Wayfarer style and some quirky 50s retro shapes. All are made in Italy, sturdy to the touch and hand-painted with a choice of colour variation to arms and frames.
Forget what you think you know about TOMS. Their new styles are actually pretty amazing and give new life to this admirable brand. Be part of the movement and “shop ethically”. We for one will look forward to reading Start Something That Matters by TOMS chief shoe giver, Blake Mycoskie.
Special thanks to Fearnhurst PR.
Find out more about One for One and TOMS here.
Ian Michael Turner