That's a question we get asked a lot.
When we were still devising Whiskers and told friends and family that we were launching a shoelace company, we got a lot of "Oh, ummm cool. Good for you. Best of luck." It wasn't until we had our first prototypes in hand that they saw what we were really up to and the vision for Whiskers we had in mind. To most, shoelaces are still a boring, yet ubiquitous part of the wardrobe, which is exactly the mentality we are in the process of breaking.
We are taking that overlooked part of the wardrobe and transforming it into a subtle, stylish fashion accessory.
To us, shoelaces are the last frontier in a world of fashion that is saturated in almost every category. We've been lucky enough to have brands like Stance, Bombas, Happy Socks, MeUndies, Warby Parker, etc. pave the way in categories that, historically, were overlooked, similar to the current state of shoelaces.
So, specifically why laces?
We don't claim to have invented the art of the lace. There were plenty of folks integrating colored laces into their daily wardrobe before us, but we did think we had a unique perspective and could bring a design-forward mindset and unmatched quality to a category severely lacking innovators and options.
Thus, Whiskers were born.
We began in men's dress laces, as we were fed up with the fact that men's dress shoes largely looked the same. There are brands out there like Taft, Cole Haan, Johnston & Murphy and Ted Baker that are trying to do things a little differently or provide some subtle color. For the most part brown, black & gray men's dress shoes look the same and offer limited ways of standing out or mixing it up. We wanted to provide an option that not only added to the style of your shoes but also allowed for you to swap out laces for completely different looks, depending on the occasion.
Fun fact: when creating a new shoe, most shoe companies have a certain FOB cost that they must stay below in order to hit their required margins. To hit these margins, they look for the easiest areas to save cost. Shoelaces tend to be the first item they cut. Hence, the same cheap, cotton lace you find on most dress shoes. We wanted to provide premium, durable and stylish options that matched the quality of the shoe.
We spent a lot of time (probably too much time) digging into the design, weave and construction of each lace, in order to launch a collection consumers would get excited about. We also spent a lot of time creating and testing aglet materials, sizes and designs to provide an aglet that showcased style and durability. Eventually, we landed on what you see now: premium, woven and braided laces with metal aglets, designed to take what has been a ubiquitous, yet essential, part of the wardrobe and transforming it into a subtle and stylish form of self-expression.
We hope you enjoy the final product!