June 05, 2013

Footwear News Magazine features SoleWood in an article entitled One to Watch "Man Made"

This month has been huge for SoleWood with a feature that has just come out in Footwear News Magazine.  To subscribe to Footwear News Magazine, check out  www.wwd.com.

Text from the "Man Made" article:



Age: 29

Launch season: Spring ’13

Headquarters: Miami

Training: Man graduated from Carnegie Mellon University

in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. Prior

to his work in footwear, he designed luggage as well as

medical devices.

Mentor: “[Max Debiase from Brain Lab] taught me

everything about the shoe business. He’s taught me how

to be a businessman and not just a designer. I’m constantly

striving to do better and become something even bigger.”

Icons: Twentieth-century American designers Charles and

Ray Eames, who pioneered trends in architecture, furniture

design and photographic arts

Business lesson: “The Golbert family of Pajar, who I [design

for], are a great example of what a business relationship

should be. They treat everyone they do business with like

family, from retailers and salespeople to those in their

showroom. They’re genuine people.”

He’s ready to break out.

After five years of behind-thescenes

work in the footwear industry,

designer Elie Man launched Sole-

Wood, a collection of men’s shoes and

accessories for spring ’13. As the name

implies, each piece has some element

of wood — even the sneakers are trimmed with

100 percent cherry and the seersucker fabric

loafer has a wooden keeper.

The collection has been picked up by independent

shoes stores and boutiques around the

country. Steve Jamison, owner of Blue Sole Shoes

in Philadelphia, carried the new label for the

launch season and will reorder for fall ’13. 


“There’s been a good reaction across the

board,” Jamison said. “[My customers] gravitate

toward something new.”

Man’s industrial design background inspired

the launch, said the 29-year-old, who continues

to work full-time as a product manager

for Brain Lab, a design and product development

firm. And while wood may seem

an unlikely material for footwear and

accessories, Man said the challenges of

the medium are worth the extra e.ort.

“I picked wood because I loved building

furniture as a student at Carnegie

Mellon,” he recalled. “I always loved the

old craft feeling of wood and being able

to use [a range of ] textures and species.

There’s something about the warmth of

wood when it’s on a product.” However,

he emphasized, “It has to be treated with

a lot of time. It’s trial and error, prototyping

over and over.”


Man has managed to incorporate

wooden touches in wearable ways. The

penny moc’s keeper, for instance, is a

wood veneer backed in leather for flexibility.

On the flip-flop, wood lines the heel of

the insole and accents the upper. All the wood

pieces used in the line are sustainable and

sourced from countries including China, Malaysia

and Canada.


In addition to footwear, the collection includes

leather wallets with wood panels, ebony and

bamboo wood sunglasses, wood headphones and

wood skins for iPhones. Retail prices range from

$65 for flip-flops to $120 for shoes, with wallets

sold for $43 to $65, and headphones for $140.

According to Man, about 40 percent of the

label’s o.ering is devoted to shoes, with the spring ’13 collection focused on three styles in a

range of colors and materials. “I’m hoping shoes

get to be the biggest part of the business because

that’s my passion,” said Man, who has designed

footwear collections at Brain Lab for brands

including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess

and Armani.


It was the line’s unique wood

treatments that caught the attention

of Portland, Ore.-based

retail chain UnderU4Men.

“There’s a fashion trend on the

West Coast for things with a

natural feel,” said owner Steven

Lien, who bought SoleWood’s

footwear, wallets and sunglasses.

“The collection complements

our other wood and wood-based

products.” (Lien also o.ers a

selection of men’s underwear in

bamboo and rayon.) According

to the retailer, the sandals are sophisticated

and well priced. “Our

swimsuits are a great match with

the sandals,” said Lien, who plans

to continue to o.er the Sole-

Wood sandals as a year-round look, thanks to the number of his

customers who take cruises.

Brain Lab owner Max Debiase

said the positive reaction to

Man’s line comes as no surprise.

“Elie has a great ability to

combine marketing and product

[skills],” he said. “He’s extremely

up on what’s new in the [footwear]

business. And he’s in tune

with what the current generation

is looking for.”


Moving into fall ’13, Man plans to expand his footwear o.ering with such

looks as a high-top sneaker. “I’ve always thought

[simple styles] were some of the best-selling

shoes. I’m probably going to keep the line more

casual and a.ordable for now,” he said.

While Man sees expansion opportunities down the road, he’s taking it one day at a time. “Everything

I do is funded by my salary,” said the designer,

who works on the collection on evenings

and weekends out of his home studio. “Just to get

to where I am today was a huge challenge. I plan

on doing a lot of things. I have a huge appetite.”

May 06, 2013

XXL Magazine May/June 2013 Issue features SoleWood

Make sure to stop by the closest newsstand to pick up a copy of XXL Magazine May/June issue entitled 2013 Freshman Class Best Ever.  The "Gotta Have It" editorial features SoleWood Bamboo Square Polarized Aviators.  This issue also highlights some new up and comers including Trinidad James.  SoleWood is honored to have our eco-friendly Bamboo Aviators featured alongside up and comers such as Trinidad James.  In the words of Trinidad modified ti fit SoleWood's mantra of All Wood Everything:  "Wood all in my shades, Wood all in my watch.  Don't believe me just watch...."

Big thanks to the folks at XXL Magazine for featuring SoleWood!!!

February 24, 2013

Project Las Vegas: SoleWood Global Release

Project Las Vegas was an incredible success for SoleWood!!!  We wrote orders, caught up with old friends, and most importantly made lots of new friends and connections.  We want to thank all the boutiques across the USA, South America, Asia, and Europe that picked up SoleWood products! We also want to thank the good folks at advanstar including Jack Conolly and Jessica Kelly for their outstanding customer service and assistance in getting the SoleWood booth up and running.

I also want to give a huge shoutout to my wife Phyllis and my boys Itay Djerassi, Stefano Gianesella, and Casey Suarez for coming out and repping SoleWood at Project Show.  The entire show would not have been such a success without the help of my friends and family.

February 10, 2013

Jeremy Piven poolside at the Standard

I had the chance to sit poolside with Jeremey Piven at the Standard this week.  I have to say, I am a huge fan of Jeremy Piven and have been for a long time as he starred in roles on the big screen in Say Anything, PCU, Very Bad Things, Old School, Heat,  all recently in Entourage. It was an incredibly humbling and cool experience chatting with him as he rocked SoleWood Ebony Shades.  We talked shop, the big screen, and the good life relaxing in Miami after the Miami Film Festival.  He is an incredibly genuine guy, and we will be watching him as his new Masterpiece show Mr Selfridge takes off on PBS and ITV.  We are honored that Jeremy Piven is rocking SoleWood Ebony Polarized Aviators and a SoleWood Slim-Card Wallet in Royal Blue!!!

February 10, 2013

DWNTWN at Alchemist with Adrian Grenier during Art Basel

SoleWood was at lots of Art Basel events at the end of the year in December.  We were fortunate to attend a private show featuring Los Angeles band DWNTWN at an Ocean Drive event on Star Island.  DWNTWN then had a second show at the Alchemist boutique perched atop the fifth floor of the 1111 Garage on Lincoln Road.  Amongst celebrities that showed up for DWNTWN's show was none other than Entourage star Adrian Grenier.  I took a couple pics with Adrian for SoleWood's blog!  If I had some SoleWood swag on me I surely would have offered Adrian a pair of shades and a wallet.  If you're out there Adrian, please email me at info@solewood.com so I can send you some shades, a wallet, and a pair of SoleWood kicks!!!




February 10, 2013

Kwerkee + SoleWood

According to Kwerkee, Design is a dish best served cold.  Kwerkee presented an exclusive sale of SoleWood products last week in Singapore, Malaysia, and a few other countries in Asia.  We were thrilled to partner with Kwerkee and get SoleWood woodcrafted products repped across the globe!!!ng else ARTY-FARTY. GRIN DAILY.

February 10, 2013

Fab.com + SoleWood = Success for the 2nd Time!!!

Fab.com featured SoleWood yet again for a second sale last month.  We were thrilled to be featured on Fab yet again, and featured our Supersoft nylon backpacks as a new item in the sale.  We hope to do a third sale with Fab later in Spring so stay posted!!!


December 18, 2012

Miami.com + SoleWood

SoleWood makes the front page of www.Miami.com.   Editor Maria Tettamanti features SoleWood as an up and coming brand designed in Miami.

Locavores, lend us your ears:

Allow us to introduce you to designed-in-Miami line, SoleWood. Inspired by a modern style that resonates with the discerning gent, SoleWood was founded by 29-year-old industrial designer Elie Man

 The 411? The SoleWood collection features handcrafted leather sneakers trimmed with wood and art-deco inspired leather wallets with wood panels and seersucker lining so you don’t have to sacrifice storage for style. The stitching, pantones, and patterns on each product have all been meticulously thought out. The headphones have a modern yet sustainable and environmentally friendly aesthetic and Man says, “The warm natural acoustic sound of wood headphones is unlike any you've experienced before."

The wood squad at SoleWood also created fresh ebony and bamboo wood sunglasses, snapbacks, backpacks and wood skins for iPhone, iPad, and Macbook.  


Jump here to the link:

December 12, 2012

SoleWood + 12Society Pop-Up Shop

SoleWood does it again.  This week our wallets and headphones are featured on 12Society.com exclusively for 12Society Members.  



November 30, 2012

Movember.com + SoleWood

SoleWood donates product to South Beach Tiki Bar's event, Mustacheo Basheo to help raise funds for Movember.com. Movember raises vital awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Come by South Beach Tiki Bar tonight between 8-12. 1505 Washington Ave in South Beach. For more info about the event: http://southbeachtikibar.blogspot.com/