Fluevogers know that May 15 is International Fluevog Day – John Fluevog’s birthday – and it’s the best day of the year. Why is that, you might ask? Well, Fluevog celebrates by knocking 15% off all shoes. Store manager Signe, says some shoe enthusiasts will wait all year for this day and that it’s a crazy bit of fun.
If you were a true Fluevoger, you’d probably know that this is a home-grown, Canadian success story. John Fluevog’s story started in 1973 in Gastown, downtown Vancouver, with a partnership between Peter Fox and a store named, Fox and Fluevog, which lasted 10 years. By the 1980s, he was on his way to carving his own path and by 2019, people in cities across North America, and even in Europe, have access to his creations, including: Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal; Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, Quebec, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Denver, New Orleans and Amsterdam.
Beyond his own ability to create stunningly unique footwear designs, Fluevog is also a long-time supporter of art, and especially the creative endeavors of others. They do this through a several initiatives that give enthusiasts a chance to become a part of the Fluevog story.
Through “Fluevog Creative,” Fluevogers can submit an ad design that could be used in magazines around the globe. Fluevog chooses the finalists and fans participate in the “Fluevocratic Movement” to choose the winner. “Open Source Footwear” gives burgeoning designers the opportunity to submit ideas and concept. If your submission peaks Fluevog’s interest, your design could become a shoe, named after you, and a pair for your own feet. You can see one winner's fanciful submission at right. Understanding that Fluevogers are a creative bunch, the engagement doesn’t stop there.
The “Fluevog Artist Grant” is the initiative that most closely aligns with Art Walk participants, and the philosophy behind the Whyte Avenue store’s involvement with this festival. Emerging visual artists, so photography, textiles, painting, drawing, illustration, sculpture and mixed media artists are invited to submit designs and proposals. Each year one successful artist wins a pair of shoes and $10,000 toward the creation of their work. That’s pretty neat.
The Whyte Avenue store has a large two-piece installation created by Calgary-born, Edmonton-based interdisciplinary artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge.
She drew on her Métis heritage to create something relevant for the Edmonton store. Shaw-Collinge’s piece depicts the floral pattern of her Great Grandmother, that was originally used in beading, and on leather.
John Fluevog is a pretty interesting guy. Aside from the attraction of beautiful shoes, all of this community engagement really reflects in the sunny, positivity of the staff and the atmosphere at the Whyte Avenue store.
And thanks to the generosity of the Edmonton store, one lucky Art Walk volunteer will be strutting some of this Fluevog finery! Of course, there a dozen great reasons to take part in Art Walk as a volunteer, but the support of the business community is a really nice perk. You can find more information about volunteering at: http://art-walk.ca/duties
If you want to get in on the birthday action and celebrations, you might get the chance to be part of the "class photo." Below is the group from last year. Oh! You can find them at 10330 Whyte Avenue. Happy Birthday, John!