By Adam Deane
VANCOUVER – Native Shoes has been enlitening lives since 2009 with their simple message — “Keep it LITE.” A Vancouver brand through and through, BeatRoute had the opportunity to catch up with creative director Michael Belgue, who offered an eye into the legs that stand underneath the Native brand.
“Native Shoes is a value-driven brand, meaning that everything we create both physically and metaphysically must reflect our mantra, ‘Keep it Lite.’ With all of our product, written language, and creative driven by this core value, the brand has really transcended beyond just footwear,” he says. Belgue couldn’t be more right. Native’s roots have shot towards the sky from its humble beginnings right here in Vancouver. In fact, their first brick and mortar location just opened in Gastown. The store comes complete with sustainable seating made from recycled shoes and a deposit-slot for folks to drop their well-loved sneaks.
“We knew that we wanted to open in Vancouver and were waiting for the right space to become available in Gastown,” Belgue says. “Native will always primarily be a footwear brand and we want to continue expanding our line and putting as many shoes on feet as possible. We also launched a new website and e-commerce platform earlier this year to meet a growing demand in the direct-to-consumer space, and we will continue improving upon our online experience.”
Haven’t you always wanted to find a case for your feet you can feel good about wearing – like you’re adding to the health of our planet? How about one that breaches the lines between seasons, age, and climate? Whether you’re heading out for a coffee and a hike or picking up Cindy from daycare, Belgue says Native has something you’ll find fun, functional and most importantly – lite.
“Native Shoes was always meant to be an inclusive brand for everyone, so we love to see both adults and kids alike enjoying our product. We are also Beast-Free. Respecting humans and animals equally has always been a crucial aspect of the brand, so if anything it has pushed us creatively to develop alternative materials and tech to leather and suedes.” A local, sustainable, fashionable, ageless, cruelty-free brand that cares about humans and our planet as a whole? We’re in.
Native Shoes is located at 14 Water Street.