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FitFlop puts crystals on my sole, fun in my soul |

Fashion and Beauty

FitFlop puts crystals on my sole, fun in my soul

OOH LA LAI - Lai S. Reyes - The Philippine Star

Happy-sunny days are here again. And as the weather warms up, your agenda for a beach vacay, outdoor activities and leisurely fun is sure to fill up. Whatever your plans are, update your summer wardrobe with breezy frocks, caftans, colorful tank tops, and pretty pops of polish worn with ultra-comfy flops that will serve you well all season long.

Too cool for comfort

I’ve always loved flip-flops. Not only does a pair allow me to explore various places with ease, but also lets me enjoy hours-long (window) shopping trips without ever slowing me down. Still, there are limitations. As much as I want to, I can’t wear my fave rubber pair to just about any event; simply because no matter what it’s made up of or how much it cost, flip-flops will never be classified as “dressy.”

But now comes Fitflop, the UK footwear brand, which started off as sandals designed specifically to tone the legs and create a sexy backside. Today, the brand now offers stylish pieces for all occasions.

My editor Millet Mananquil gave me my first pair back in 2008. Since then, I got hooked. Compared to the ordinary flip-flops, my Walkstar sandal is a bit bulky and didn’t do justice to my fat feet. But what the heck? It’s so comfortable, though I felt little pain in my calves the first week I used it.  I guess that’s one of the signs FitFlop’s Microwobbleboard technology is working. Microwobbleboard helps increase the time that your muscles are engaged every single time you take a step. Yes, FitFlop gives your legs a workout while you walk!

In buying shoes, most women are undecided on what to consider first: comfort over fashion or vice versa?

“With FitFlop, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other anymore,” enthuses Katie Neiman, international PR manager of FitFlop, during the launch of FitFlop’s spring/summer 2013 col-lection at Publika in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Fit for walking: FitFlop’s spring/summer collection features fun and flirty pieces with prettyfying details for women; sandals, brogues and boat shoes for men.

Take a walk with nature

Fashion editors, writers and guests from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines got first dibs on the colorful and oh, so pretty foot candies.

Having started out with a functional line of everyday women’s sandals, the brand now offers multi-occasion, multi-functional footwear.
“A lot has changed in terms of design since we launched the product six years ago. We now want people to see FitFlop in a different light; we’re not just a comfort brand anymore,” Katie says.

Take a walk with Mother Nature as FitFlop’s spring/summer 2013 collection features fun and flirty pieces for women with feet-prettifying details like studs, flowers and crystals. Men aren’t left out as they, too, can flaunt their toes in sandals with interesting straps, or hide them in brogues or boat shoes that’s undeniably fresh and versatile.

The designers took a leaf from the natural world around us to create fab looks in four key trends: Science and Nature, Soft Geometry, Bioluminescence, and Opulent Alchemy.

Whether peeping out from under your trousers or paired with a maxi dress, FitFlop’s spring/summer 2013  collection is fun, comfortable, and unlike other comfort brands — which are al-ways associated with ugly shoes for old people — fashionable!

Design matters

FitFlop takes its design sensibilities to heart. In 2008, the brand did an exclusive collaboration with a boutique in New York.

“The collection was sold out. In fact, it was the fastest-selling item in Net-A-Porter history in footwear perspective,” enthuses Katie.

FitFlop also did an incredible collaboration with Anna Sui, who created a limited-edition boot with studs and tassels.

In February, the brand teamed up with Cordwainers at London College of Fashion to celebrate Valentine’s Day. FitFlop dared the undergraduate students at the college to express love by customising a pair of red Shuv clogs.

“Collaborations are important to us. Purely because it has given us an opportunity to bring our brand somewhere remarkable; and allowed us to really think and step out of the box,” notes Katie.

Well, the great thing about FitFlop is that  it’s truly an innovative brand.

“And I think the fact that we are so new into this business really gives us the opportunity to dream, to approach footwear with a fresh perspective, with a fresh pair of eyes. We’re looking forward to deliver fun, fearless footwear mixed with functionality. And I hope that when you look at the collection, you’ll feel that we bring that to life,” adds Katie.

Fitflop hit the 10-million mark

In 2011, FitFlop hit the 10-million pair mark and now boasts 18 million pairs sold in 54 countries since its launch in 2006.

“We knew that we were doing something right and we are continuously improving, innovating and moving forward. Year 2012 was huge and important for us because that’s when we launched the slimmer, Biomimetix sole — designed for supreme comfort and cushioning. Biomimetix technology is designed to mimic the idea of walking barefoot ,” Katie says.

Biomimetix sole enabled FitFlops to produce slimmer, more formal, classic and sleeker silhouettes for the stylistas. This technology can be experienced in Fitflop’s Due ballerina shoes.

Primer Group, the FitFlop distributor in the Asean region, has continued to contribute to the success of the brand in Asia.

“The group opened a FitFlop mono-brand store in Jakarta mid last year, a Bangkok store will be opened in May 2013. There are also plans for a store in Kuala Lumpur in 2013 and another in the Philippines and Indonesia as well. This will put the brand on solid footing for greater success in years to come,” enthuses Mark Chim, managing director, Primer International Man-agement Ltd.

In the Philippines, the success of FitFlop is phenomenal.

“Everywhere you go, you’ll definitely find one who’s wearing FitFlop,” enthuses Jimmy Thai, CEO and president of Primer Group of Companies.
And just like FitFlop founder Marcia Kilgore, Jimmy Thai is also a visionary.

“In Primer, I have a team which decides which footwear brands to bring in to the Philippines. They understand our market demographics and know what suits our market best. Primer taps the emerging brands with huge potentials. And we definitely hit the jackpot with FitFlop,” he adds.

To date, Primer Group carries about 40 footwear brands in Southeast Asia, but for the Philippines alone, the company carries over 100 brands.

Wear the shoes, rule the world

With its latest slogan “Wear the Shoes, Rule the World,” FitFlop believes that your shoes should not get in the way of your dreams.

“It’s definitely a bold, confident statement. It’s a big proposition for big thinkers — people who live their life on their feet,” says Katie. “Wear the shoes, rule the world’ really speaks that fact to us — men and women — who are professional jugglers. We’re juggling an incredible struggle of work-life balance, 24-hour communication. We just want to get the most out of our lives. We believe that your shoes should not get in the way of your dreams.”

And with the right pair of shoes on, namely FitFlop, you will feel great and be able to do anything.

“FitFlop is a footwear that’s gonna work for you, not against you!” adds Katie.

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FitFlop’s spring/summer 2013 collection is available at FitFlop stores in SM Mall of Asia, SM City Cebu, SM Baguio, SM Pampanga, SM Megamall, SM Southmall, and SM North Ed-sa-Annex. For a complete lists of authorized dealers, follow FitFlop at, Instagram and Twitter account: fitflopph.

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