John Fluevog Brings Funky Footwear to the District
This Wednesday, footwear company John Fluevog celebrated the opening of its ninth U.S. store at 1265 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The shoemaker, founded in 1970 in Vancouver, CA, makes funky, comfortable shoes that are popular among creative types. Company founder John Fluevog was at the event, where fans old and new were checking out the new digs.
“We’ve been doing business in New York since about 1990,” said Fluevog. “Our website’s really busy here, so [opening a store in Washington] seemed like a natural thing to do.”
Katherine, the D.C. store manager, said that the company had been looking for a storefront in Georgetown for about two years. Previously, D.C. shoppers could find Fluevog shoes at Smash!, the punk music and clothing store that used to be at 3285 1/2 M St. NW, where Jinx Proof Tattoo is currently. Smash! is now located in Adams Morgan at 2314 18th Street, NW.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being a little different,” said Fluevog. “We’ve never really been in, like, a mainstream area. So, this is the closest to a mainstream shopping area that we’ve been in.” The company is planning to open another new store in Minneapolis.
Washington has a reputation for dressing conservatively, especially when it comes to footwear. Amber Smith, a sales associate at the store, is also a lawyer for the IRS. Even though her job calls for suiting up and buttoning down, Fluevogs work in her office environment.
“I’m not a heels person,” said Smith. “I like a Doc Martens-comfy sole. I was thrilled when I got into this more conservative work world and learn that I could actually wear comfortable shoes.”
John Fluevog shoes are handmade around the world, and the company offers many vegan options. “There is really good conscience behind the shoe,” said Smith. “It’s all about construction, durability but also fair labor. The standards are very high.”