When we read this story in the LA Times on Sunday, we couldn’t quite believe it:
Skechers, makers of those ugly, inefficient sneakers that were inexplicably popular in late 1990s, has created a line of shoes called Bobs. These shoes are in the style of a traditional alpargata shoe–kind of like an espadrille loafer–and for every pair sold, two pairs will be given to a child in need.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the business model of Toms, a shoe line launched by trustafarian/entrepreneur Blake MyCoskie a few years ago. MyCoskie gave away his 1 millionth pair of shoes last month, according the Times.
Skechers says its line is different because it’s giving away two pairs of shoes for every pair sold. Um, yeah. According to intellectual property lawyers the reporter on the story spoke with, MyCoskie has a strong case against Skechers. Unfortunately, he might not have the cash to take them to court. What’s more, these shoes aren’t MyCoskie’s design; they’re centuries old.
But we just find this whole thing, well, sketchy. If you like the business model, use the business model. But don’t copy the design, too. Ick.