Sunday, December 13, 2009

TOMS for Fashion and Charity

I first noticed these shoes on my most recent trip to L.A., strolling through the shoe department at Neiman Marcus. Among the $1000+ leathers, there were these simple cloth shoes in a variety of colors. TOMS. I never heard of it but they are cute and fashionable shoes. Of course, the offerings at NM were pricier than the usual set, having exclusive NM versions. These shoes really reminded me of the classic black kung fu cloth shoes so I naturally took a liking to them. I had a pair as a kid. I think all Asian boys had them at some point, to wear with their traditional silk outfits on holidays.

TOMS is a rising corporation now who's being recognized internationally. Blake Mycoskie is the founder. During a visit to Argentina, he came across many poor children who ran around barefooted. Something in him sparked his kind heart and he set out to make a difference by starting this One for One Movement. To those who have never been outside of the U.S. and have visited a third world country, there is poverty in this world that is unimaginable. Sure, there are also kids here that are poor and starving and I don't want to undercut that fact, but poverty is a whole level worse. TOMS shoes has already delivered hundreds of thousands of shoes to needy kids around the world. It all began in 2006. Their goal for 2009 is to reach 300,000 donations. I've spotted young people wearing these shoes around town.

As you can see, I have joined in the movement and purchased a black pair. I have another one being shipped and also got my wife a girly pair. I bought the T-shirt and sweatshirt as gifts too. That amounts to five pairs of shoes that will be given to those in need. I certainly love its philanthropic angle but won't deny that I also love the shoes. They are super light, comfy and casual, and it makes a personal statement. I do hope they hold up to frequent wear. They come in a simple box with instructions on how to direct the shoe donation. There is a unique code on each box that you can use online to assign which country you want to ship your donation. These delightful treats cost $44 and up. I got mine at Nordstrom for $48. They recommend staying true to size but I found that they ran small. I ended up with a M8.5. Children's sizes are also available.
Check out their website at and join the cause to improve a child's life.

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