Allbirds is winging its way to Los Angeles.
The San Francisco-based, environmentally friendly footwear company is opening its first L.A. store in August on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.
The 2,000-square-foot boutique will be the sixth in the U.S. for the brand, which started with a direct-to-consumer model, and will be created as others are with displays to highlight the natural materials used in Allbirds shoes. The L.A. store will have city-specific touch points, and a service bar with a wall of inventory designed to cut down wait times for customers.
“We’d been looking at L.A. for some time, it’s a prime shopping market, but it’s almost like five medium-sized cities,” said Travis Boyce, head of global retail operations for Allbirds. “I spent a ton of time in shopping centers and neighborhoods and we always came back to Abbot Kinney.”
Los Angeles is one of the largest markets for the brand, which has done pop-ups in Silver Lake and downtown. Boyce hopes the location next door to Salt & Straw ice cream and across the street from Scotch & Soda will draw locals and tourists.
He said there will likely be a special style of shoes released for the opening, with color-coded laces tied to the local community. “We’ve done it for other stores and are excited to come up with something special and cool for Venice, which has a colorful community and tons of murals.”
Allbirds was founded in 2016 by Joey Zwillinger and former professional soccer player Tim Brown. The first style by the footwear firm was the Wool Runner, a sneaker made from a superfine New Zealand merino wool fabrication for the top. Leather is not used in any of the sneaker’s components, the top, insole or outsole, which helps to reduce the carbon footprint. The original style retails for $95 a pair, and is available for men and women, along with Loungers, Skippers, Breezers and Tree Toppers. The brand made pop-culture headlines in February when former President Obama wore its Wool Runners to the Duke-UNC basketball game, and also recently announced store openings in China.