Creative design and a focus on good quality craftsmanship are the cornerstones of footwear brand OHW?. Founded by Stephen Gill and Hiro Chen, who had previously worked together for 15 years, the ethos of OHW? comes from a shared vision.
“We both wanted to set up our own brand, to create a men’s shoe offer that delivered contemporary design, backed up by quality product and brand integrity,” explain the duo.
While the entire design process physically takes place in the UK, the brand has an international and collaborative aesthetic, with each collection informed by a number creative inspiration trips to various destinations.
New York, Amsterdam and Hong Kong have all been on the schedule recently, but it’s not always about what shoes people are wearing for the team.
“We are permanently on a research trip, taking influences from anything that inspires us. It is important to keep up with seasonal trends, but we always interpret in our own way and are more likely to be inspired by classic product design that has nothing to do with footwear,” they explain.
The integrity of the product is another important factor for OHW?, with the brand quoting “proper shoemaking and detail which adds to the product rather than being there just for the sake of it,” as being key to the equation.
Add to that the use of a factory in China that has a three generation heritage and transparency from the label that see’s its workers featuring in their marketing material, and you have a new breed of accessible footwear brand. One with a well-designed and on-trend product that is completely transparent about – and proud of – its shoemaking process.
Available at ohwshoes.com, priced from £100.