It truly is funny how everything reinvents itself and what was once the ‘in’ thing in popular culture 30-50 years ago becomes once again the ‘in’ thing in today’s modern culture. The two styles that frighten me about this constant reinvention, though, are the 80’s and men wearing bell-bottom’s with platform shoes. I cringe just thinking about the return of those atrocities. This act of reinvention is one of the reasons for Sebago’s current position in the shoe industry. Growing up I would hear the word Sebago and think of old people and boat shoes, never once associating myself with the brand. Today that is different. I just received my very first pair of Sebago shoes. Considering that I already own upwards of 5 or 6 boat shoes (although I have to admit that none of them are as cool as the one’s above) I decided to go with something a little different and ended up getting the Fairhaven boot, which you can see HERE in another post. I was quite surprised of how many compliments I received from my friends about the boots while wearing them (not to toot my own horn!). My Sebago’s are comfortable, stylish and I look forward to adding more to my collection, preferably the two above!!
Sebago’s history goes as far back as 1946 when 3 New England natives created first their hand-sewn penny loafer which was modeled after the then popular Native American moccasin. With this creation, they also pioneered what would become of the company’s patented welt-construction (Sebago.com). They have come a long way since those days and our now taking boat shoes to a whole new level. During the recession I feel like shoe companies either needed to revamp their products in some shape or form or suffer through some tough years with the possibility of just straight tanking. Sebago saw this and in an intelligent attempt to reposition themselves in the “fashion shoe” industry began collaborating with many young and fresh designers. You will notice between the plain Sebago in grey/blue above and it’s counterpart to it’s right with a orange painted toe, both inspired by the French fashion boutique, Collette. In fact, a lot of the shoes that you will see on this post were created through a collaboration between Sebago and some 3rd party designer (such as Ronnie Fieg) or person of influence.
What I love about this recession and modern day culture is the fact that shoe companies can no longer skate by, making the same old crap that they have been for the last 50-100 years. With the bombardment of options these days, you need to be on top of your game as a designer, marketer or distributor of a shoe company in order to maintain your survival. With that, you see these amazing collaborations that create such unique and colorful pieces of footwear. Things are not so plain Jane anymore and that makes me happier beyond belief!! There is no amount of disappointment greater than going somewhere to find something unique and feeling that every shoe looks just like the other one. Luckily, this is happening less and less!! I applaud Sebago’s direction and can only hope to continue to see the same amount of creativity, if not more, put into their designs for future collections!!