THEY was founded by three Manhattan-based friends who share a unanimous passion for minimalist design that captures both practical functionality and an inarguably sophisticated aesthetic.
Our founders draw from over 30 years of family expertise in the Japanese footwear industry to present high-quality craftsmanship with the greatest attention to material and compositional details.
Our goal is to present a new alternative in lifestyle footwear with original designs and a fresh outlook.
Concept & Design
Our design is conceived to celebrate design itself, starting with a shoe as our blank canvas. Through it, we embrace a minimalist ethos while paying homage to the geometric precursors of German Bauhaus and modern Japanese graphics and architecture.
We wanted to create something that adequately expresses our appreciation to the beauty of simplicity — that is, a strong reduction of the visual language, yet one that’s expressive in its delicate combination of form, color, and space.
Perhaps the most defining characteristic of every THEY product is the geometric shape seamlessly embedded within the shoe’s silhouette. But creating this distinct look is deceivingly difficult.
In traditional shoemaking, the upper portion and the sole are created separately then pieced together, which would ultimately break the fluidity of our design. Instead, our expert craftsmen — all with over 30 years of mastery in the art of Japanese shoemaking — have developed a meticulous method for hand-aligning the shoe's upper half with its custom made bi-color rubber sole, for perfect uniform connectivity.
Like the care we put into the construction of each product, we only source our materials from the highest-quality suppliers, all over the world.