Often the processes that go into a product are hidden behind the finished result, unseen and untold to the everyday customer. Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel is doing things a little differently, and has developed a unique way of finishing off their wine making journey. Introducing a whisky barrel into the fermentation process, Double Barrel has put an emphasis on the finishing touch, and it’s these finishing touches that make their product stand out. We wanted to explore this idea of ‘the finishing touch’ a bit further by talking to brands who take similar pride in their processes and product development. FEIT is one of those brands, thoughtfully based on changing the way the shoe manufacturing process works.
FEIT was started in 2005 by Australian brothers Josh and Tull Price, now based in New York the duo have revolutionized the footwear industry with their unique approach to process, design and construction. TVG touched base with Josh to talk a little more about their blossoming brand.
What was the motivation behind starting FEIT footwear?
FEIT was a reaction to my brother Tull’s experience in the footwear industry. An industry that had moved entirely away from traditional techniques and natural, high quality materials to mass production and synthetic, low quality materials.
Where do you draw inspiration from, in terms of both business and design?
Craftspeople and innovators in equal measure. These areas are not mutually exclusive.
How is the FEIT process of design and manufacturing unique?
Our products are entirely hand made from start to finish by one master craftsperson. No machines are used at any time in the production process. Many companies claim to make “hand made” products, but this is rarely the case, even for “high end” companies. Our shoes are made in the same manner as a bespoke pair of shoes are made. Added to this we only use natural materials. No chemicals. No synthetics. Another rarity in the industry and manufacturing in general.
Do you think consumers becoming more educated about process, rather than just the finished product? Does the process affect their purchase decision?
Definitely. Since we have been around I have noticed an increase in people concerned by, and familiar with production processes. It seems consumers are increasingly interested in all aspects of the things they consume, be it food or shoes. It is a natural response the endless march for increased profits that lead to reduced quality.
In a crowded market place, how do you differentiate yourselves from competitors?
I think it results from the way we do things. There are truly very few people in the world making products the way we do.
Where is the future of footwear heading?
In two opposite directions I think. On the one hand there will continue to be shoes that are made as cheaply and in as large volumes as possible. You will see more and more synthetic materials being used. A lot of today’s newest sneakers are entirely plastic. I can see them being printed by 3D printers, or the like very soon. On the other hand there is a growing movement back towards higher quality products that are made well, last well and age beautifully.
How would you apply the terms “the finish is just the beginning” to FEIT footwear?
We see the experience of wearing our shoes are a process in itself. Wearing a handmade, all natural pair of shoes is a unique experience. Some of our shoes will take some breaking in. They will mold to the shape of your foot. The leather will soften, change colour and develop a patina over time. They can be resoled and should last you a long time, so the finish of the production is just the beginning of a new process for the shoe.
Josh and Tull have a built an amazing business on doing things a little differently and placing their distinctive approach to shoe design and manufacturing at the forefront of the brand. The end result is incredibly unique and, in terms of fashion, completely timeless. This synergy between process and product is what allowed us to draw comparisons to Jacob’s Creek and their new Double Barrel wine offering (which is finished off in a whisky barrels before getting bottled) – and it’s this unique final touch that sets it apart, and makes the finish just the beginning.
Sponsored by Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel