BucketFeet was founded when two creative, travel-obsessed young men met while volunteering in the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In that meeting, Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein felt the power that art had to positively connect people of all walks of life. Thus, BucketFeet was created with a mission to share this impact.
BucketFeet aims to find a new, emerging artist to design each pair of shoes. The artists get the exposure they deserve and receive both up-front payment AND a portion of the profits from every pair sold.
Location: Chicago, IL | Store
Urban Steez: Tell us your name and how you came up with the name for your accessory line?
My name is Raaja Nemani. The name BucketFeet actually comes from my co-founder, Aaron. His nickname at University was “Bucket” – very random I know. When he started customizing canvas shoes, he decided to call it BucketFeet. The name stuck, and forgetting everyone else, it’s something that people don’t forget.
Urban Steez: Bucket wow, who would have thunk it! So when and how did you get started?
Raaja: BucketFeet started back in 2008 when I met Aaron in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aaron had moved there from Berkeley, CA and I was backpacking around the world. Aaron used to customize sneakers he called BucketFeet, and I bought a pair of shoes. In 2010 we decided that we wanted to take his customization business to the next level by finding talented artists all over the world to create original footwear. BucketFeet was launched in Spring 2011 in Chicago, IL.
Urban Steez: That’s Dope! What is the concept behind your designs?
Raaja: A different artist designs every pair of shoes we make. The idea is that talented artists get the global exposure we believe they deserve, and customers get original products that stand out and tell a unique story. We want to make the world more original.
Urban Steez: So much creative diversity and inspiration in each design, it’s impossible for these shoes to run out of style. Is there a specific group of people that you are trying to grab if so explain?
Raaja: Not really. We believe art is universal and because our artists and products are so diverse, we believe there is something for everyone. If you want to stand out and if you are an original, BucketFeet are for you!
Urban Steez: Im more of an original myself… What can we expect from your accessory line in the future?
Raaja: We have a lot of plans to expand the line and product mix. We expect to launch complementary apparel and accessory lines by 2014.
Urban Steez: Nice. What do you feel separates your line from the rest?
Raaja: The art, the authenticity, and the risk-taking. We work with real people who we give full creative control. This idea was not born in a lab, it was born out of years of travel and meeting amazing artists and amazing people from all over the world.
Urban Steez: Give us a few fashion tips than can be useful?
Raaja: Shoes are an accessory. You can mix and match footwear with A LOT of pants and shirts and make it work. Try things on and be adventurous. Me personally, I like to pair a wild pair of shoes with toned down jeans and a tee or button down.
Urban Steez: I can dig that. Give us one major “fashion NO-NO”?
Raaja: Long socks with slip-ons.
Urban Steez: Hahaha, couldn’t have said it better myself. What have you learned being an up and coming line, Good and Bad?
Raaja: We’ve learned that starting a new brand is HARD. There is a lot that goes into it that’s not sexy, but it’s all worth it in the end. Staying true to who you are and what you represent is essential.
Urban Steez: What is the best way to get a hold of your threads?
Raaja: We sell in 10 countries and online at BucketFeet.com. In the UK we sell at select Office Shoes locations and on their website. We’ll be all over the UK by SS14!
Urban Steez: Good Stuff! Every Clothing line usually has a “motto” or a “saying” that represents their clothing line, what is yours?
Raaja: A different artist designs every pair.
Urban Steez: Any additional words you like to say to your supporters?
Raaja: Don’t be afraid to stand out, to be original, and to be yourself. We hope BucketFeet helps you express yourself through art that fits your personality.