in building the row into an american lifestyle brand, a natural step would be philanthropic efforts. back in february during fashion week, the mary-kate and ashley olsen announced a partnership with toms shoes to create a limited edition collection. toms, founded in 2006 by blake mycoskie, donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes sold. in announcing the partnership, mary-kate olsen said to wwd, “the giving is immediate…having the opportunity to be a part of something so meaningful has made the collaboration with toms special to everyone at the row.” ashley olsen added, “toms + the row customers will have the ability to give back and create change with a single purchase.”
at the product launch yesterday at san francisco’s neiman marcus i had the chance to chat with kelly johnson, the northwest media coordinator for toms. she said that mary-kate and ashley were very involved in the partnership, selecting fabrics like cashmere and hemp from the clothing line to be used for the shoes. they also went on a trip with mycoskie to honduras, bringing the new collection to needy children, in addition to playing soccer and visiting schools.
these being from the row, the fabrics are decidedly luxurious in italian wool/cashmere blend or herringbone hemp, suede insoles, lambskin footbeds and back patches. with prices between $98 (for the hemp version) to $150 (for the patchwork plaid cashmere blend), it’s a touch of bliss that gives back. but be quick, because they are a limited edition, so when they’re gone, they’re gone.
the row + toms is available in eight styles (6 of which are available at neiman marcus in san francisco). the line is also available at the toms website, bergdorf goodman, colette, and select boutiques.