Pagano Laces Up Earth Shoes




Fall Campaign Will Aim to Make ’70s Footwear Groovy Again
BOSTON–Pagano, Schenck & Kay will lead a $1 million relaunch of Earth Shoes, the footwear brand popular in the 1970s.
Earth Shoes feature a heel at the front of the foot rather than the back, which is designed to improve posture and offer back support. “It’s a far more comfortable way to walk,” said Pagano president Beau Fraser.
He donned his first pair of Earth Shoes after winning the account in a review that included several other undisclosed agencies. Creative director Woody Kay already was a big fan of the footwear and wore his own pair to the pitch. “That told them we understood what the product was all about,” Fraser said.
The Boston shop will break print trade ads featuring new styles in the spring. A consumer print campaign targeting men and women ages 25-34 will break in the fall. Ads will speak to people “who aren’t slaves to fashion, who care more about comfort,” particularly workers who spend a lot of time on their feet, Fraser said. Casual attire is now the standard in most workplaces, paving the way for an Earth Shoe comeback, he added.
Earth Inc. chief executive Michel Meynard knew the time was right when he spotted the ’70s shoes last fall on a European Levi’s billboard. Meynard’s eponymous firm has manufactured shoes for other companies for 30 years. U.S. sales and distribution is based in Framingham, Mass., and its manufacturing facilities are in China.
Meynard bought the patent rights to Earth Shoes in 1994 from Raymond and Eleanor Jacobs. The shoes were designed in 1957 by Danish yoga instructor Anne Kals, and the New York couple obtained a license and began selling them in the U.S. in 1970. The Jacobs changed the name from Anne Kals Minus Heel Shoes to Earth Shoes in honor of the first Earth Day. By the late ’70s, production of the shoes had stopped.
Meynard said he has inked deals to sell Earth Shoes starting in late August in specialty stores such as Track ‘n Trail and Overland Trading, and is in discussions with major department stores. K