It's no secret I have a growing sneakerhead obsession as of late (it all started with these bright blue Supras). So, naturally, I was browsing sneakers on Shopbop when I stumbled across the most amazing pair I'd seen yet—decorated with Mr Men Little Miss from childhood! I bookmarked them and came back a few days later to make a purchase, only to find out they'd already sold out in my size (there's still several sizes left in the high top and black-and-white versions!).
I started (desperately) looking on other sites for my size and while I was unsuccessful, I discovered even more about the brand behind them, Twins for Peace. They collaborated on a pretty extensive collection with Mr Men Little Miss, and offer several other styles—like the Boubou, a super-classic and wearable pair, pictured above. I especially love that they work in luxe fabrics like silk and leather (eyeing the turquoise & black combo, of course!).
After obsessing & tweeting about the brand for a few weeks, they reached out and asked if I'd like to stop by their showroom in NYC to learn more about the story behind the company & view the entire collection (check out my snaps here and here). I don't think I could say yes fast enough. Their motto, "Be Cool Be Good," came from the desire to be a brand without pretension while creating unique, timeless, covetable (by me, ha) shoes. They took the be good one step further by starting a one-for-one program in 2009, donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. Clothing and accessories purchases further help by funding healthcare and education, and they work with foundations in low-income countries to employ local workers and factories, further investing in that country's economy to help break the poverty cycle. They've worked with communities in Brazil, Mozambique, Colombia, India and Tanzania so far.
They also work with the Gacha Foundation (there is very little on them in English but they support localized education efforts in Cameroon). Each pair is hand beaded, with a portion of the proceeds kicking back to the foundation. I couldn't stop obsessing over the amazingly intricate beadwork on this pair at their showroom.