One side of a sandwich board in front of the John Fluevog store on Grant Avenue, San Francisco:
“Know You’re Weird!”
The other side:
“No, You’re Weird!”
The resemblance to the “Keep Calm and Carry On” oeuvre is probably not coincidental, but the weirdness and wordplay are pure Fluevog. The Canadian shoe company is weird and proud of it, starting with its name—John Fluevog is the founder and chief designer—and carrying on, as it were, through the merchandise.
Take, for example, this current boot, the Angelina.
Or a chunky, four-color Mary Jane called the Sam.
The Escarpin has a ball-and-claw heel inspired by the cabriole legs of Louis XV furniture.
The men’s styles are equally striking.
The Alexander. (A metallic cap-toe oxford? Brilliant.)
Sometimes the weirdness overlaps with pure design genius.
The Neptune, perfect for a gala at the natural history museum or a stroll through the Everglades.
Lots of companies pay lip service to customer service and community, but Fluevog is the rare business that follows through. Its community (or “Flummunity”) includes a marketplace (“Fluemarket”) for secondhand Fluevog shoes and an invitation to submit a shoe design. Quite a few submissions have made the cut. (It’s “open source,” so no one gets paid, but the citizen-designer gets a free pair and the honor of having the design named after her or him.)
I’m a Vogger myself: I own two pairs of Fluevog sandals (these and these), whose styling skews toward the less-weird end of the Fluevog spectrum but is still distinctive enough to elicit admiring comments. (I think they’re admiring.) The shoes are beautifully made and very, very comfortable.
I wrote about the Fluevog.com FAQ page in 2007. A few of my favorite Fluevog Q’s:
“Who played vibes with Benny Goodman’s big band between 1936 and 1940?”
“Why are Fluevogs so expensive?”
“Are John Fluevog Angels really Satan resistant?”