After making a splash in the Aussie market last year Gold Coast-based Willi Footwear has partnered with an American distributor to take their revolutionary anti-blowout thongs to the US market.
Willi impressed the US with their highly functional take on the Aussie thong which feature boomerang-shaped plugs that minimise the chance of a blowout, and also come with interchangeable straps allowing the wearer to customise the base with different coloured straps.
After selling several production runs totalling over 50,000 pairs, including a completely sold out Australian 2015/16 summer, Willi has taken delivery of a new batch for our upcoming summer, as well as the next US summer season.
Managing Director and Founder of Willi Footwear, Brad Munro, first came up with the idea to develop a flip flop with an unbreakable plug after a thong mishap left him shoeless and denied entry to a German beer hall 6 years ago.
After a long and expensive process securing patents and intellectual property protection Munro is somewhat incredulous the footwear is on the verge of international success with interest also coming from Japan, Greece, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Munro attributes the interest in Willi not just to the innovative ‘no blowout’ plugs, but also the customisable option in a disposable marketplace.
“It’s affordable fashion that can be updated with minimal cost each season, and offers the wearer the ability to have a large colour range with only a few bases and straps.
US distributor, Barry Hill, agrees and confirmed that the ‘no blowout’ plugs and interchangeability are two unique selling points that don’t currently exist in the US market.
“And of course Americans equate Aussies with summer, sun, golden surf beaches and a relaxed way of life so we’d expect a great flip flop product to come out of Australia,” he added.
The new extended range consists of a regular size for those with normal to wide feet and comes in seven base colours and seven straps colours, allowing for 49 different colour combinations. There is also a slim style designed for women or those with narrow feet. The slim style features combinations with metallic straps and diamante embellishments, and allows for an amazing 126 different combinations.
Celebrity beach lovers like Home and Away star Dan Ewing, Trent “Maxi” Maxwell fromBondi Rescue and Ironwoman Courtney Hancock, as well as football players Johnathan Thurston, Scott Prince and Dan Mortimer have been seen sporting Willi thongs.
Available in selected stores and online at www.willi.com.au
Check out Willi’s hilarious ‘blow-out’ video here