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November 5th, 2012

Meet The Founder of TOMS

We kicked up our heels with Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, a Southern native and newlywed about town....

You grew up in Dallas.  What's the most "Texas" inspired print or color TOMS has ever put out? 
We've done the Austin shoe, like 3 times now.  It's the only city we've done that for.  We did it exclusively in Austin, we got a local Austin artist to design it each time.  It's been a different print each year.  What else? We haven't done the Texas flag yet.  Maybe we should do that next.  
People know I'm from Texas because I say...
Fave restaurant in Austin?  
Oh man...so many.  I think my new favorite is Clark's Oyster Bar.  I love Perla's and Guerro's.  Clark's is definitely my favorite. 
You once released special edition TOMS as part of a private high school's uniform.  We were jealous we were no longer in our teens.  Any more plans for that?  
I spoke at Hockaday [in Dallas] and all the girls in the school started and signed a petition.  It was fun!
TOMS has a serious cult following, down to the fans that wear TOMS with their wedding dresses.   What inspired the idea for the wedding collection? 
My brother got married a few years ago.  He was going to wear TOMS, his wife was going to wear TOMS and he started finding all of these pictures online of people wearing TOMS at their wedding.  And he said "You know, what we have is great, but I'd like a nice leather pair, my wife wants satin..or you have to wear blue with the wedding dress.  So my brother is the creative director of the wedding collection"
While on the subject of weddings, am I correct in the understanding that you're a newlywed?  
Yes, definitely am! I've been married 7 weeks.  We were so private, it was a small wedding and we didn't allow any media, some things you have to keep private.
Any info you can share on the TOMS worn at the wedding? 
I wore a pair of black suede ones, part of TOMS plus collection, and Heather [my wife] made her own.  Maybe they'll be for sale next year! 
TOMS are a celeb favorite.  Have you ever been completely star struck to see anyone wearing a pair?  
Definitely so. I really enjoyed one time when my mom was watching The View when she saw Whoopie Goldberg wearing a pair of gold glitter TOMS.  She got a kick out of that.
Do you remember the first big name spotted? 
Sienna Miller was the very first.  That was exciting, it came out in OK! Magazine.  More recently I've been seeing lots of celebs wearing the sunglasses.  Jennifer Garner... Kobe at the Olympics.  So that's been great.  
Do you see any limit to the One for One model?  
No, not really.  We're working on some ideas now for the next project.  I think it will be sometime next year we'll be able to introduce something new. 
Do you have a signature pair of TOMS? 
Yeah, I wear a pair of red university classics.  Red, red & white stripes and rope sole.  Today I've got the burnt orange on, to show some support. 
If you could walk in someone else's TOMS for a day who would it be and why?  
This is going to sound really sentimental, but I think i'd like to walk in my dad's TOMS. I think it would be really fascinating to see all this from his perspective.  My wife and I will hopefullly have kids soon and it's one of the things I can't wait to experience in life.  My parents have seen this thing from the first time I called them and said "I have this idea."  He's been really supportive.   A lot of parents would have said, "Well, how are you going to make money? How are you going to pay for it?" and he's been one of my biggest fans.  I'd say either my dad OR my mom's shoes because they've been experiencing this crazy ride from the very beginning and it'd be cool to see it from their eyes.
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