John Fluevog? Who?
Even staunch shoe devotees may know his work — but not that there’s a designer behind it.
Despite his memorably odd-sounding surname (flew-vog, Norwegian — more about that later); despite the celebrities sighted wearing his often clompy footwear (Kit Harington, Scarlett Johansson, Woody Harrelson, Beyoncé, Sam Rockwell, Marisa Berenson); despite the bizarrely disparate cult following of punk rockers and alt-rockers, academics, techies, nurses, New Wavers, senior citizens, artists, Neo-Romantics, the orthopedically inclined and many, many foreigners; and despite a reputation for high quality and comfort, Mr. Fluevog and his edgy, funky women’s, men’s and gender-bending shoe and boot collections have been anomalies, outside the pale of the footwear establishment, ever since they first appeared in the 1970s.
Amiably cool and mild-mannered (in a hokey Canadian way; he is from Vancouver, British Columbia), Mr. Fluevog, 70, doesn’t disagree. Wearing a goatee, a jaunty scarf, a sweatshirt and Helmut Lang breeches displaying toned calves above the nicely worn Angel boots of his own design, he was in reflective mode recently at his company store that opened last November in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn.
“I like the idea of being a little off-center — quirky yet very solid,” he said.
In today’s trend-averse fashion universe, that may be the key to this brand’s endurance in a skittish retail world. Business doubled over the past six years, according to Stephen Bailey, Fluevog Shoes’ chief managing officer. And Claire Foster, the director of accessories and footwear at WGSN, a global trend forecasting company, predicted that “we will start to see more of his current and past designs in the fashion media and among influential tastemakers in the coming couple of seasons.”