By Jia Thomas | @jia_thomas
Deliciously designed in bold striking colors and with heels which reach ankle-breaking heights, Kandee Shoes are the latest must have for high heel lovers. With names like Caramel Kiss, Space Sherbert, and Peanut Crunchy, Kandee Shoes have been irresistible to fashionistas all over the UK, Spain, Italy and now the U.S. Since the London based line launched in 2010, the fashion industry, consumers, and the press have all had a sweet tooth for Kandee Shoes. Celebrities ranging from the stylish Victoria Beckham and the fashion chameleon Rihanna have been seen strutting their stuff in the tasty footwear.
Josh Wayman is the 21-year-old creator of Kandee Shoes and has been ceremoniously dubbed by the press the “Mark Zuckerberg of shoes.” Wayman started the line at 19 with no prior design or fashion experience. Fed up with working for others, he set out to blaze his own trail and based the line on his childhood candy obsession. Little did he know he'd light the fashion world afire.
So how does a 19 year old with no experience or training in fashion design become one of the hottest rising stars with one of the most sought after lines in the fashion industry? One word: viral. That's right, Kandee Shoes was able to raise its profile through word of mouth and social media.
Wayman didn't have a targeted social media strategy; it was the demand and social media sharing by consumers that helped drive attention to Kandee Shoes and raise its brand awareness. This is the reason why Kandee Shoes has such a loyal and dedicated fanbase, and also why Wayman wants to make sure his line keeps its “street cred.” He maintains it by keeping to a “high fashion meets high street” philosophy.
Just because Kandee Shoes is currently the darling of of the fashion industry, doesn't mean the company has abandoned social media in favor of more traditional marketing. The Kandee Shoes Twitter page is social media done right. It's a great example of our CEO's, Eve Mayer Orsburn, Social Media Business Equation. The Kandee Shoes Twitter stream informs, entertains, interacts, and converts. Updates on orders, wait lists, sales, specials, pictures of shoes in the making and future lines are plentiful. Kandee Shoes isn't afraid to interact with their followers, which is something that some companies still don't integrate into their social media strategy. Retweets and replies to followers are frequent.
Sometimes a product can take a life of its own. Social media makes it easy for consumers to spread new products to family, friends, and strangers. Going viral is a big deal and is some of the best promotion any company could hope for. In only a year Kandee Shoes has gone global. But what sets Kandee Shoes apart from the other companies, who simply ride the viral wave until it dies down, is that it continues to leverage the medium which helped establish it. This ensures that the company continues to interact with the original consumers who were a part of the its viral beginnings and reach new consumers as well.