John Fluevog Shoes taps into their passionate customer base

Paige Mahoney-Nagle    February 15, 2015

Organization: John Fluevog Shoes

Industry: Retail

Name of Contact: John Fluevog, Hollie (Chantiles) Shortino (Fluevog Design Alumni)

Web references: John Fluevog, YouTube, SoundCloud

From humble beginnings in 1970 as a partner in the Vancouver shoe store, Fox and Fluevog. John Fluevog went on to part amicably with his partner Peter Fox 10 years later to open his first John Fluevog Shoes in downtown Vancouver. The brand has since grown include several stores across Canada and the United States as well as retailers in the United Kingdom and Australia. They have developed a large following of Fluevogians around the world including several very recognized celebrities, musicians and organizations (Madonna, Alice Cooper, Air Canada Rouge etc.).


John Fluevog Shoes has an incredibly unique fan base as Jill from the Vancouver store states in this audio clip. And it’s this unique fan base that John Fluevog has tapped into and collaborated with for future products and advertising.

John Fluevog Shoes has completely embraced their customer following and is employing their customers love for the brand and their great imaginations to help create new designs. They have implemented and continue to use two different crowd sourcing innovations.

John-Fluevog-Open-Source-FootwearFluevog launched Open Source Footwear in 2002. With the help of Open Source Software they were able to provide a venue where anyone could submit their ideas for shoe designs. They have had thousands of design submissions and from those John has manufactured and sold 12 of the designs. Each designers gets the honour of seeing their design come to life, have the shoe named after them and the fame of having designed and contributed to the John Fluevog Shoe brand.

See John discuss the Open Source Footwear Project on Shaw TV Vancouver’s Urban Rush at the 5:35 mark.

John-Fluevog-CreativeIn 2009 they opened up a second crowd sourcing platform called Fluevog Creative. This time to encourage designers to create Fluevog advertisements to be used in print campaigns around the world. Designers submit their pieces based on the criteria that Fluevog is looking for which are then given thumbs up or down by Fluevogians to help John choose the finalists. His finalists are then voted on by the public for a favourite and winner who receives a $1000.

Lessons for others

Customers and lovers of your products are your greatest asset in the future of your brand. By listening to them you can bring their ideas into being, they know what kinds of items they want to purchase. You are allowing them to have input on the products they love, it lets them create what they are looking for but haven’t been able to find.

Attempt to contact a Fluevog Design Alumni, Hollie Chantiles, regarding her experience with the Fluevog Open Source Footwear Project has been made. Will provide updates upon contact.

Submitted By: Paige Mahoney-Nagle, SMBP student, University of Waterloo

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