Get ready for quirky brand ChattyFeet as the London-based sock label directs its focus to Australia.
“We want to get the world talking and it’s time for Australia to rebel against the boring and mundane,” enthuses co-founder Gil Kahana.
The fashionable socks, which make great gifts for both adults and kids, have been designed by a curated selection of artists, illustrators, designers and even IT professionals, featuring a unique array of colourful characters.
“The UK and Australia have a lot in common, so it feels natural to offer our products here too. We want Australians to have more silly moments in their lives and get playful together―and we hope our socks will achieve that.”
Kahana explains how it all came about at a friend’s party years ago, as they were looking for a way to bring more fun into the day with a simple garment in need of an update―the sock.
“We were talking about puppets and how funny it would be if they were on your feet, rather than your hands,” he explains. “The next time we met, we decided to turn our idea into a business―ChattyFeet was born.
“We started with a prototype (doodling with a marker pen on a pair of white socks). We then created four illustrated sock characters, found a producer and completed the brand identity. We launched our online shop in December 2012. It’s funny to see all of those landmarks condensed into just a few sentences, as the process actually took us a few years.”
Indeed, Kahana says one of the biggest challenges was to find a manufacturer. “Some weren’t particularly keen on working with an emerging brand or required large orders that we couldn’t commit to at the time. Eventually we’ve found a producer, but the first batch had a lot of issues. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is best―meeting a producer face-to-face really helped to build trust.”
He adds that getting ChattyFeet onto the high street was a difficult task. At the time, not many gift shops were selling socks, so it was tricky to get them excited.
“When we started growing our range of specific characters, sales went up and so did the curiosity about our brand.”
Each pair of socks has its own unique character―it’s like having an avatar that you can choose to wear based on where you’ll be walking. For example, Sole-Adore Dali looks great at an exhibition, while Kate Middle-Toe is perfect for high tea.
“We’ve just launched new and exciting characters―Leonardo Toe Vinci and William Shakes-Feet. Our ongoing challenge is to develop new products and expand into new markets. There are plenty of feet out there that deserve to try ChattyFeet, so we have to continue telling our story.”
On a mission to make the world a chattier place, Kahana says they feel that they’re one step closer to achieving their goal when fans share positive feedback about the characters on social media, or take feet selfies wearing the socks.
“We like to think that our socks allow people to have more silly moments. Life can get so serious and we want our products to bring people joy―we hope you enjoy them.”
By Marion Gerritsen