Long before I made my way over to Paris last month, I came across a French sneaker company called Twins for Peace. I had recently found true love with Warby Parker and was jazzed about this new way of fashion meeting charity. There was something so familiar about the effortlessly cool, affordably high fashion and charitably concious sensibility of Twins for Peace that mirrored what I admired so much about the eyewear brand. Seeing that there might be an entire movement around the idea of smaller companies making it big with their priorities in the right place is enough to get any of us really excited about the world taking a turn for the better. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/16050489]
Twins for Peace was started in 2009 by twin brothers Maxime and Alexandre Mussard along with friend Louis Felix de Fenoyl under the strong vision of creating a shoe line that makes a difference. Their motto 'be cool, be good' says it all. The shoes, comfortable but fashionable no-fuss sneakers, are as straightforward as their philosophy. At the core, they are a 'buy one, give one' organization which is a powerful stance in its own right. But Twins for Peace doesn't stop there. They have partnered with SOS Enfants to create education and health invitiaves on top of their own Shoe Project that will help to provide meals in schools, offer vaccines, build wells and make sure that the children they help don't go hungry and are able to have the chance at an education. These are some pretty powerful sneakers.
I had the pleasure of being invited into the office to sit down and chat with Louis Felix and the team, take a peek at their product and upcoming campaigns and even get a new pair of kicks for moi. When I walked into the courtyard at Twins for Peace HQ, I immediately felt like a part of this small team myself. The people are as warm and international as their product and the offices are as colorful as the countries they help. They are excited to share not just their product but their philosophy on what they do and how they relate it to not just their business but to who they all are as people of the world. In a day and age where younger companies can easily become flooded with the worry of succeeding in a pretty unsure economic climate, Twins for Peace just seems really happy to be getting to do the work they do.
The donated shoes are all made in the countries that they help fueling their economies and creating jobs. But the company works hard to not just promote offering help in the form of reward but also in the form of showcasing the talents of the native people and culture. The newest collection, Gacha, are probably some of the coolest shoes I have ever seen. The team is incredibly proud of this collaboration of sorts with the artists who help them make these specific shoes in Cameroon and so they should be. The entirety of the sneakers are hand beaded (over 50 hours goes into each pair) and when a pair were placed in front of me, I couldn't stop looking at them. The craftsmanship, colors and designs make these shoes so incredibly unique and also really freakin' cool. When Louis Felix showed me a street style shot of a girl in a black, relaxed jumpsuit with a pair of the sneakers and some simple gold jewelry it became even more obvious why the French are style icons.
So while I save up for a pair of sneakers from the Gacha line, I will very proudly wear my pair of bright red Twins and hope that you all take a look here and join the club too :) To see more videos of the Twins for Peace initiatives in action, click here.
Thanks so much to everyone at Twins for Peace for such a lovely visit and a real highlight to my Parisian adventures.