5,000 YEARS OF TRADITION, UNTIED.
DAMIEN VAN DER VLIST
Just like the wheel, conventional wisdom states anything as tried-and-tested as the shoelace is beyond improvement. After all, mankind has been lacing its footwear for over 5,000 years – surely there’s a reason for that. But such “flat-world” thinking isn’t for everyone. Gastón Frydlewski and Mariquel Waingarten always believed there was a better way, and they were determined not to let themselves be tied down to tradition.
Spurred on by the desire to shake up the sneaker industry, the young couple from Argentina founded HICKIES – a bold new vision for fastening footwear in the 21st century. Taking the place of conventional shoelaces, HICKIES are small, pliable bands made from a durable elastomer compound that fasten individually to hold your shoes tight. As each band fastens to a fixed point and is completely independent from the others, they never loosen, while the waterproof synthetic material means they won’t stain or fray. In short, they’re everything conventional laces aren’t.
Aimed primarily at the active and leisure markets, HICKIES effectively transforms any pair of sneakers into a slip-on. By using one of three different lacing techniques the wearer can achieve a regular, tight or loose fit using exactly the same set of bands – especially important for exercise lovers, where a good fit is crucial to both comfort and performance – while their inherent flexibility allows just enough travel to slide your feet in and out with ease.
Both the bands themselves and the posts on which they fasten are available in a kaleidoscope of different colors (including metallic shades), so there’s untold potential for customization, accessorizing and color coordination. For those with a little imagination, the possibilities are almost endless...
Having successfully birthed their company via Kickstarter to the tune of 600 percent of their funding goal, Gastón and Mariquel soon moved to Brooklyn to take things to the next level. Now backed by a team of several staff, it’s from here in New York City – arguably the sneaker capital of the world – that they hope to bring HICKIES to the feet of the world. Who knows, perhaps we’re about to witness a revolution of the kind not seen since Velcro? That’s a big shoe to tie, but for an idea of how HICKIES might fit into your footwear collection, take a little look at our photoshoot.
Copyright © Highsnobiety Magazine, Issue 10, 2015.