When I was introduced to Clearweather last year I immediately felt a connection to the brand. The work they were doing was admirable. I knew what they were going through as a startup brand in an environment where the big boys dominate the market because they are easily accessible and can be tried on in brick and mortar and they have years of experience to draw on when launching new styles.
I was able to track the brand down locally and I went to check them out and I discovered one of their models that drew me in immediately; the Cloudstryk. That shoe made it into my top 40 sneakers of 2017. I didn’t get to buy a pair because the store where I tried them on had a size 12 left. I’m a 13. The shoes felt incredible. Last week I ran across an ad for Clearweather that threw me for a loop. It was a campaign where the brand name wasn’t in the title. I thought someone had bit the brands style and launched a campaign to make their shoes. As a former successful Kickstarter I immediately went to the campaign page to see what was going on. What I discovered was that Clearweather was doing what I had done in my 5th year of launching ARCH. I ran a Kickstarter in 2014:
I had attempted to run a campaign before, but I was completely unprepared. The next time around I understood what I needed to do and was ready. The campaign funded on a small scale and it was an incredible feeling. I was one of the fastest shipped Kickstarters in footwear… but this isn’t about ARCH. It’s about Clearweather and their launch of two of the dopest shoes of 2018.
The Nighthawk and Nightsparrow Cloudstryk kicks have their roots in last years model, but the materials here are premium. The design is more striking and just a look at the shoes should inspire confidence in the brand. I really like the idea of what they are attempting. The goal is to make a shoe that will have the funding up front. The brand will only have to produce what they have orders for. That’s the good.
Now for the bad… I ran a Kickstarter and I’ve watched other Kickstarters by other brands lead to a number of issues. All of those Kickstarters had the same issues. Now I also watched a brand that launched their Kickstarter at the same time as me that went on to garner an investment for a shoe that I thought was far too simple to be taken seriously. That company was Three over Seven. That brand got an investment and became Allbirds. The problem that all of these brands encountered was with the way they had the campaigns set up. Clearweather has the same issue. The brand has failed to establish sizes. The lack of size options for people limits the number of backers. It also creates a situation where when the brand will have to produce the shoes they will have to make more than they actually need.
But forget that… this is not an analysis of consult, it’s a celebration of independence. They are going for it and I hope it succeeds so I’m sharing it here. Every picture takes you to the campaign page. The source link at the top takes you to the campaign page. I haven’t donated, but I plan too before the campaign ends. I think the collection is dope and worth your time. Support indie footwear design.