TLDR: For me the perfect shoe is the Dafu Rubber 501 but you can’t buy the original product in America because “. Liu Qinglong, manager of Shanghai Da Fu Rubber Co Ltd, said of the situation in 2017, “No one in China knew about commodity intellectual property rights at the time and it wasn’t until 2007–08 that we found out the French had registered the trademark.” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feiyue ) so I contacted the manufacturer, created LLC, renamed to Brooklyn Skippies, they cost $4 to make, $11 to ship worldwide. Launched https://skippies.xyz/
I only want to own one pair of shoes, so the shoes have to do the following
Then one day at the office I saw Norman was wearing some Feiyue shoes. I had never heard of them. They looked promising, he had bought his in Taiwan.
I started reading the wikipedia page and what a story (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feiyue) Intrigue. Injustice. I was hooked.
I bought a few pairs of shoes over a year on Alliexpress, but they were the Top One Feiyue and the French guys Feiyue-Shoes.com which are not the real deal. I wanted the real deal.
Watching this video makes you want the product even more. Vulcanized rubber! A technical nugget maybe explaining what i was looking for. I wanted soft rubber that didnt peel off the canvas. Totally hooked.
I tried randomly googled a bunch for Dafu Rubber. Mr. Liu wouldnt accept my WeChat. He would later say “ Can’t sell in USA, the French guy will sue.” I was complaining at work and Qingqiao agreed to help. She called Mr. Liu and spoke in Chinese, explained the idea, he accepted my WeChat reachout.
The price for the original 501s was in the $4 range per pair. But what to call them?
I don’t live in Brooklyn anymore. But I have always lived in NYC. I was talking to Victor, design extrordinaire, and thought well Brooklyn just sounds nice. Victor wanted to call them Midtown
What if you could just write your own text? What if we called them BOB?
Anyway, Brooklyn seemed as good as anything. Also, to someone who lives in NYC, it just feels good. Brooklyn.
But we wanted a separate brand. So the brand is Skippies ( becaues we felt like growing up kids called cheap shoes skippies, but not sure if we were hallucinating) and the current model Brooklyns.
Mr. Liu did a legendary job. Custom grommets, printing, I really want to know how he can spin all of this up so fast. The man knows production. We got 2,000 shoes, half white and half black, evenly split across 36 - 44 sizes.
So how to get the shoes to customers? The shoes are packaged in boxes with no barcodes just outside Shanghai, China.
Went with NextSmartShip for now. So far ok. The software is ok, not amazing. You connect it to Shopify. Its still a little manual, once again if you just WeChat your contact everything goes smoother. They put barcodes, sorted, checked merchandise.
They charge us about $2 to put barcodes, sort, and setup. Then the shipping is about 9$ to the US and similar to Euroupe ( International shippers, buy a pair! I want to see what shipping is like to Japan or India or Argentina)
The packaging is just simple poly ( i.e. plastic ) mailers.
On instagram, lots of people seem to be suggesting we are committing some faux pas. I am working with the original Dafu Rubber as a partner. International LLC of Florida has a trademark on the name https://trademarks.justia.com/874/10/feiyue-87410302.html Feiyue, but our shoes dont say that ….
The original Dafu 501s are amazing. We just want to help Mr. Liu so that everyone can get the original 501s.