CHICAGO — Bucketfeet’s uniquely patterned shoes featuring designs by more than 45,000 artists will become part of Threadless following the online apparel company’s acquisition of the shoe brand, it was announced on Monday.
Bucketfeet co-founders Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein informed their customers in an email early Monday, with subject line: “Exciting News! We Are Joining Threadless.”
Threadless is an online design community founded in 2000 and best known for its graphic apparel and accessories.
Bucketfeet abruptly closed its Bucktown store at 1647 N. Damen Ave. last week, as well as two other Chicago stores.
Nemani and Firestein said that 95 percent of its sales come from online and not the stores and as part of the sale to Threadless, Bucketfeet closed its retail locations so that they can focus on their core online business.
A new “on-demand production supply chain” allows Bucketfeet to manufacture every pair of shoes “handmade-to-order” and deliver the shoes directly to its customers in less than 10 days.
That system, as well as the Bucketfeet website will remain intact through the holidays. Next year, “Threadless will slowly integrate Bucketfeet’s shop and collections onto the Threadless website,” Threadless CEO Jake Nickell said in a news release.
Nemani and Firestein launched Bucketfeet in 2011 out of a small house they rented on Armour Street in Ukrainian Village.
“We lived there, worked there, and our friend even built us our own makeshift warehouse to pick, pack, and ship orders every day (shout out to Stevie)! Those were some of the best times of our lives, and we’ll never forget them,” they wrote.
During Bucketfeet’s six year run, Nemani and Firestein said they built a community of over 45,000 artists from over 120 countries and sold almost a million pairs of shoes around the world.
“When we first started Bucketfeet, we always knew we would eventually expand beyond footwear. This was the driving force behind our decision to partner with Threadless. They give us the opportunity to build our brand faster than ever before, while staying true to our original goals and ideals,” Nemani and Firestein said.
“Threadless has been supporting and empowering artists for seventeen years, and basically invented the concept of artist-driven commerce. We’ve gotten to know their founder Jake [Nickell] over the last few years, and we could not be more humbled to be a part of his vision and their future,” they said.