STORE SPACES

Online brand that makes shoes out of plastic water bottles opening stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Digital native Rothy’s is making its move into brick-and-mortar.

The women’s shoe brand, whose stylish flats have a devoted and fast-growing following, announced it will open five stores in the fall, with additional ones opening in 2020. The initial round of stores will be located in four of Rothy’s highest penetration markets: downtown Manhattan, Los Angeles, Boston (Newbury Street), and the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Each store will launch with a special, one-of-a-kind shoe, the company said. (Founded in 2012, Rothy’s currently operates one small shop that is located in its San Francisco hometown.)

Rothy’s shoes are made from recycled materials, including recycled plastic water bottles. The shoes — all flats, and priced at $125 to $165 — are knitted together, making them extremely comfortable, according to fans. Styles are limited, but come in a wide variety of colors.

The company is a savvy marketer, particularly on social media where it has invested in ads on Facebook and Instagram. The brand’s profile has also been boosted by fashion influencers and icons such as Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, who was photographed wearing a pair of Rothy’s.

In December, Rothy’s closed on $35 million in funding from Goldman Sachs’ asset management unit, bringing its total raised to $42 million. The brand garnered $140 million in revenue in 2018. To date, it has recycled some 32 million plastic water bottles.

 

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