- John Fluevog
John Fluevog, born International Fluevog Day, is a Canadian
ShoeDesigner. His shoes are noted for their progressive, art decoinspired styles. His shoes often include messages -- for instance, "Resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue and Satan" -- engraved into the soles.
Infobox musical artist
Name = John Fluevog
Origin = Flagicon|Canada Vancouver,
British Columbia Canada
Genre = Victorian,
Rococo, Indie, Alternative, Art Rock, Rock, Goth, Punk, Steampunk, Metal, New Wave
Years_active = 1970 - present
URL = [http://www.fluevog.com/ Official Website]
Vancouver Gastown Seattle Toronto New York Chicago
Montreal Boston Los Angeles San Francisco|
Early Life and Career
Born and raised in
Vancouver, BC, Canada, John Fluevog spent much of his youth hanging out and working at his father's drive-in ice cream parlour called the Luxury Freeze on the Kingsway. It was in this environment that John developed a strong passion for cars, which in turn, has provided inspiration for many of his shoe designs.
Fox and Fluevog
After spending a summer hitchhiking down the west coast witnessing the 1960s Social Revolution first hand, John returned to Vancouver and began working for Sheppard's Shoes. In 1970, he joined forces with fellow co-worker Peter Fox to start up their own shoestore in historic
Gastown. The partnership, known simply as "Fox and Fluevog" lasted over ten years before the two split amicably in 1981.
John Fluevog Shoes: the Seattle Years
In 1985, John decided to try his hand at opening his own store in
Seattle, WA. With only enough money to pay for the construction of the new store, John had to sell his car in order to pay for the stock of shoes to sell in the new store. Located at 1161 1st Avenue, and with a stockroom across the street, John single handedly started the international style phenomenon known as John Fluevog Shoes.Throughout the remaining years of the 1980s, John continued to dress the feet of the young and adventurous who had an appetite for rebellion, or at least the appearance of it. John's baroque shoe designs became another way for the Generation X'ers to express themselves. His first major success came with being the first to import Dr. Marten shoes into North America. Using the comfort of an orthopedic air-filled sole and styling his own uppers into swirly, colourful designs subverted the negativity which dominated youth culture at that time. At the same time, John was producing shapes of shoes that only the truly rebellious would be seen wearing. Extreme points, overly round toes and oh-so- square heels were some of the highlights of Fluevog's influential design sense. In addition to this, Fluevog decorated his quirky shoes with crosses, peace signs, and hearts displaying positive messages that the John Fluevog Shoes brand has become known for promoting.
John Fluevog Shoes: the 90's
By the early 1990s, John Fluevog had opened five privately owned and operated stores - 1st Street in Seattle (1985), Granville Street in Vancouver (1986), Newbury Street in Boston (1987), Queen Street in Toronto (1989), and Prince Street in New York (1992). His shoes were garnering attention from the mainstream fashion press by appearing in the pages of Vogue, on the catwalks for Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson as well as upon the feet of pop-divas such as Madonna and
Lady Miss Kier.
In her movie, , Madonna opens a box of hot pink platform Fluevogs, slips them daintily on, clumps down the hall toward the camera and croaks,"Ya like 'em?".
Coincidentally the Seattle
Grungemovement, garnered by bands such as Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and the Melvins, inspired a new fashion movement consisting of flannels and chunky boots made by John Fluevog, specifically the Angel boots that include the infamous message engraved into the soles: "Resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue and Satan."
Due to the increasing popularity of John Fluevog's Angel boots, John was barely able to keep up with the huge demand for his boots and shoes. Two more privately owned stores followed as the San Francisco store opened on Haight Street (1997), and the Chicago Store opened in Bucktown (1999).
John Fluevog Shoes: 2000s
The turn of the new millenium was a significant landmark for John Fluevog as a fully matured "established" designer with new designs being visibly seen in various forms of media as well as on the street. Unique heels such as the "Mini" heel became an internationally recognizable heel that became a trend of its own.John opened three more successful stores on
Melrose Avenuein Los Angeles(2003), Rue du St.Denis in Montreal(2006), and a flagship store in the historic Gastownin downtown Vancouver.
John Fluevog's Green Philosophy
The opening of the flagship
Gastownstore was a significant moment for John as it was a full circle of life events bringing him back to the exact area where he first started in the shoe industry. John moved his design office into the store location where customers can watch the design team in action from the first floor showroom. The building itself once was a parking lot, and actually is the negative space between its adjacent buildings with all glass ceiling and exteriors which provides both heat and light in the building. By creating desks out of scaffolding, tables out of fallen old growth oak trees and salvaged pipes from the Alaskan Pipeline, and using recycled carpets and other various cast-off items, John has designed and is setting the trend for eco-friendly workspaces.
John's philosophy of reduce and reuse, while using enviro-friendly materials has earned him accolades from many different organizations and magazines. John's infamous Angel soles are resoleable and made from
Heveatree latex, a natural latex harvested in Vietnam. In recent years, some styles have been made using vegetable tanned leathers which do not release chromates into the enviroment. John has also released remakes of successful styles using hempinstead of leather, making the shoes vegan.
In 2002, John created [http://www.opensourcefootwear.com Open Source Footwear] , an online site where anyone can submit shoe designs. If a submission is selected, the shoe is named after its creator. So far there has been twelve open source submissions that have been manufactured.
Other Fluevog collaboration designs have been a snowboarding boot with Ride Snowboards, a bicycling shoe with Race Face Bikes, a shoe with the
Danielson Family, and more recently a Riding bootdesigned with Courtney Taylor-Taylorof the Dandy Warhols.
Inspired by a 2007 spontaneous performance in the Vancouver storefront by
Perry Farrell, frontman for Jane's Addiction, where after the performance Perry gravitated towards the women's heels. John Fluevog has designed a 2.5" men's high heeled boot named "Perry," being manufactured in blue faux-crocodile, black snake, and mirror silver leathers for Fluevog's Fall '08 line.
John has gained the respect and admiration of fans all over the world, known as "Fluevogers." Creative, artistic, and unique people from all walks of life have become avid Fluevogers, and trek to the new Gastown store hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary shoe designer.
Some of the many movie star Fluevogers are
Robin Williams, James Spader, Jeff Goldblum, Arnold Swartzenegger, Drew Barrymore, Daryl Hannah, Elijah Wood, Woody Harrelson, Lucy Liu, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johanssen, Graham Greene, Terrence Howard, Sam Sheppard, Chloe Webb, Helen Hunt, Julia Stiles, and most recently Whoopi Goldbergcaused a stir by wearing a pair of John's Mini "Lover boots" on her first day as co-host on the View.
Some TV stars that wear Fluevogs are:
Neil Patrick Harris, Alyssa Milano, Robin Givens, Kathy Kinneyof The Drew Carey Show, Willie Garsonof Sex and the City, Sarah Rueof the sit-com Less Than Perfect, Hannah Aitchisonof TLC's reality show LA Ink, American Idol Judge Paula Abdul, Japanese actor Masi Okawas seen wearing Fluevogs on many episodes of NBC's Heroes, General Hospital's award winning Finola Hughes, and contestant Storm Largeof CBS's . Also cast members of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and the 3rd Season of So You Think You Can Dance wear Fluevogs on TV.
Noteable entertainers who wear Fluevogs are Madonna,
Bjork, Sarah McLaughlin, Lady Miss Kierof Deee-Lite, Alice Cooper, Belinda Carlisleof the Go Go's and of course, celebutanteParis Hilton has worn Fluevogs.
Some bands that wear Fluevogs are: Sonic Youth,
the White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Def Leppard, the Dandy Warhols, Death Cab For Cutie, No Doubt, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult, The Shins, Son Volt, the Redwalls, The Veils, and Celtic band Clumsy Lovers.
The list includes pop sensations
Scissor Sisters, Outkast, Goldfrapp, The Black Eyed Peas, and country-pop band the Dixie Chicks.
Singers who have been known to wear Fluevogs on stage include
Aimee Mann, Norah Jones, Chris Cornellof Soundgardenand Audioslave, Feist, Shirley Mansonof Garbage, Kate Piersonof the B52's, Dale Bozzioof the New wave band Missing Persons, D'wayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone, and Divine Brown.
Daniel Lanois, writer/ journalist Cory Doctorow, and music guru and DJ for KCRW Nic Harcourtowns several pairs of Fluevogs.
Bobby Slayton, Margaret Cho, and comedian/actress Mary Walsh also owns pairs.Swimmer and World Record Holder Diana Nyadis also a known Fluevoger.
The corporate slogan of John's father's ice cream parlour was: "Luxury Freeze- Heavier & Stiffer."
John Fluevog is a car enthusiast, known in Fluevogian as an "Autophile," and, contrary to popular belief, actually bicycles to work.
There are Fluevog stores located in
Canada, and the United States.
* [http://www.fluevog.com Fluevog Shoes]
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