Fashion

Oliver Cabell launches footwear.

Oliver Cabell aims to disrupt the premium footwear space with handmade sneakers and full transparency.

A start-up focused on creating contemporary accessories using quality materials and transparency is seeking to disrupt the sneaker space after closing $1.2 million in funding.

Oliver Cabell, a transparent accessories label, is moving into footwear after its recent capital raise. The brand plans to release a new style every week following the launch of its initial collection.

The brand’s expansion into footwear happened quite unintentionally. Oliver Cabell produces all its accessories in the Marche region of Italy, which happens to be the mecca for luxury shoes. “We came across a set of old, dusty sneaker molds in our factory, and I thought it was a real treasure, and that we could make something really unique with them. We decided to make a pair with the molds, and after 22 samples we ended up with our first sneaker, the Low 1. We became so obsessed with footwear that we decided to focus on them almost exclusively going forward.”

The team spent a year researching suppliers and interviewing the best factories throughout Europe. “Our approach is fairly simple,” Scott Gabrielson, Founder of Oliver Cabell, explains. “To offer handcrafted sneakers using old school shoemaking and the finest materials, and then reveal it all, from factories to costs. For us, it’s all about the process. Ninety percent of our shoes are made with cobblers using simple tools. We then marry it with the latest technology.”

The shoes are hand crafted using the best materials around, such as full grain leather from the Veneto region of Italy (the same tannery that supplies Prada and Saint Laurent), and outsoles from the iconic Italian suppliers Margom and Dami. Scott explains “We seek out companies that focus on making one thing really well, and partner with them for the long-term. For instance, when it came to laces, we were searching for the best laces around. Even though we were close to the industry and know where to find laces, nothing fit what we were looking for. We wanted to use high quality, waxed cotton laces. Unfortunately, there are just so many crappy laces everywhere. In the end, we found an old factory who still made them. They have been producing those laces for 115 years, so of course we had to use them.”

Oliver Cabell also plans to upheave the traditional seasonal collection release calendar. The brand will implement a “drop of the week” model, releasing new styles in small batches weekly. This approach, of which we’ve typically seen with the footwear giants like Nike and Adidas, is rarely seen with a startup barely a year old given the manpower (and capital) needed to design, test, refine, and produce a new style.

Scott explains “It demands a lot of creativity and work to design and get all the materials and production in place, but it’s worth it. Producing styles in limited quantities allows us to release more unique product and be more creative with silhouettes and materials. It doesn’t excite me to say our shoes are exclusive, it’s just the reality of our situation.”

About Oliver Cabell

Founded in July 2016 by CEO Scott Gabrielson, Oliver Cabell is a Minneapolis based accessories startup. A unique luxury brand unbound by traditional models, Oliver Cabell delivers handcrafted goods for men and women at fair prices with complete transparency, revealing everything from the materials to the cost to make. Each piece is handmade with new styles released each week. Oliver Cabell’s uncompromised commitment to quality and a refined aesthetic, brought to market at an unconventional speed, positions Oliver Cabell at the forefront of the contemporary luxury market. For additional information on Oliver Cabell and to shop the collection, visit http://www.olivercabell.com.

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