Ben Seago and Joe Shamp want to upgrade your slippers. The two Tulane graduate students teamed up last year to create a pair house shoes that were not only comfortable, but durable enough to be worn anywhere. Leandoers was born and the first collection launches Monday, November 11th.
Seago, a bonafide slipper devotee, couldn't find a product on the market that could hold up during late night snack runs and sent a hand drawn picture to Shamp. The two first met at a costume party; Seago was dressed as Peter Pan and Shamp was dressed as a bumble bee. "[It was an] easy conversation stater. The next few years we bonded over our shared sense of absurd humor, and I don’t think we exchanged a serious word until Ben sent me that picture of a purple slipper."
The partners got to work. While they didn't have design experience (Shamp is a law student and Ben is getting his MBA), they knew the shoe had to be breathable, durable, and extremely comfortable. They hired a freelance designer, who was able to formulate their ideas into a technical package.
"Following [his] advice, we were able to choose quality materials that would help bring our important elements to the shoe," Shamp said. "The shoe has an air-mesh top that provides breathability, while remaining soft and comfortable on the foot. The insole of the shoe is poly-urethane with micro-fabric cover, which provides the softest foot bed that we have ever felt. Lastly, the sole is rubber, which provides great durability and flexibility."
Seago and Shamp also accepted advice from potential target audiences such as high school sports teams and college students. Development began in Summer 2018 with the final product arriving in Summer 2019. "After the final prototype, we sought out investments and placed an order for the first round of shoes."
While the current collection is inspired by Yeezy and Balenciaga's bulky styles, the next batch of slippers will be sleeker and include new materials that enhance the look without hindering the breathable factor. Additional colorways are also in the pipeline, along with the hope to create limited edition LSU and Saints slippers.
The two, who have plans to stay in New Orleans, are building a strong social media presence through influencer marketing and ramping up efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. Their limited run of pre-order slippers sold out within days.
"All we want to do is make people's feet smile," Shamp told Adore.