MISE: Reinventing Footwear for the Culinary Industry (Preview)
By Erik Hernandez, Founder, MISE
During my time as lead designer at Vans, I traveled to China every year to meet with contacts in footwear factories. Each time I found myself in Hong Kong, I would visit Yardbird, an amazing yakitori restaurant owned by chefs Matt Abergel and Lindsay Jang. I got to know the two restaurateurs, who share a rich history in product design and branding, and I was always treated like family. Lindsay and Matt expressed interest in collaborating on a shoe for their team that worked for the demands of their restaurant in terms of both safety and style. Vans was happy to offer existing products to the Yardbird team, but creating a shoe for restaurants was not a priority at the time. This led to a simple question—How do we make better shoes for those who step foot in the kitchen? Over three years ago, our team at MISE asked this question, to ourselves and to those in the food and beverage industry, with the hope of revolutionizing kitchen shoes—a market fore-casted to reach $4.1 trillion globally by 2026—but more importantly, an industry filled with millions of talented people around the world who serve their communities and flavor our lives…
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