The idea for a quick, portable shoe started with Rachelle Kuramoto’s mother-in-law.
Seeing potential in the product and brand, the two women began working on the concept in 2007, at a time when Rachelle and husband Kenji had an infant (Stella, now 6) and a toddler (Sam, now 9) at home.
They spent the following year working on design and engineering, textile resourcing, copyrights, patents and prototyping. In 2009, production on the first lines began, and when brought to market in August, kigo footwear was officially born.
Their main customers are men and women who are interested in minimalist or â€œbarefootâ€ shoes. Many of those people are active, either in athletics or outdoor activities; kigo footwear also resonates with people who care about wearing eco-friendly, responsibly made, vegan apparel for active and lifestyle.
The vision of the company, which took its products to markets outside of the United States within a year of launching, is to provide comfortable minimalist footwear, stylish enough for everyday wear, sturdy enough for athletics and constructed to be as good for the Earth as for the body.
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