Much-loved woollen sneaker company Allbirds has opened its first pop-up at Auckland restaurant Coco's Cantina, complete with custom sneakers made in Coco's colours.
Over November 25th - 26th, Allbirds was in collaboration with the Auckland culinary institution Coco’s Cantina. Perched on Karangahape road, the space will exhibit Allbirds' sustainable, woollen shoe varieties – the Wool Runner, Wool Lounger, and the recently launched children’s offering, Smallbirds.
Coco’s Cantina and Allbirds have a mutual recognition for quality, craft, imagination and sustainability, as seen with Allbirds' use of locally sourced, renewable and sustainable merino wool, and Coco’s Cantina's egalitarian ethos, which prioritises staff over profit.
The two local brands have designed a bespoke range of laces blended with the restaurant's signature colour, which are free with any purchase at the showroom.
“We’re thrilled to return to New Zealand and support a local brand that approaches its craft in a novel and natural way, while also paying tribute to Allbirds Kiwi roots," says co-founder Tim Brown. "With its commitment to quality and craft, Coco’s Cantina is a natural fit for our first Auckland collaboration."
Allbirds' time in the overseas market has been met with as much warmth as the merino its shoes are made out of, including a feature by Time magazine, which dubbed the kicks as “the most comfortable shoe in the world”.
Allbirds has recently stepped into the world of retail with concept stores in San Francisco and New York. And the company, which was founded in 2015, is keen to use some of the US$27 million it has raised to open more retail stores.
"These spaces enable the Allbirds to learn from its customers every day, evolving the retail experience based on their feedback," says Brown. "At this stage, there are no immediate plans for a permanent store in New Zealand, but as the Allbirds retail experience is continually evolving, it’s definitely a case of watching this space!"
Brown says New Zealand is the brand's spiritual home and last year, as part of its 'Allbirds And' programme, it created limited edition Wellington versions of its shoes, working closely with similarly minded local businesses. It has also done this with Los Angeles.
Earlier this week, Allbirds embarked on its first international expansion outside New Zealand and the United States, and is now shipping to Australia, a direct response to the many thousands of enquiries the brand receives each week.
This story originally appeared on Idealog.