Last month, while in NYC for Fashion Week, Greg and I popped into the offices of Miz Mooz located on a bustling Broadway Avenue. If you aren’t familiar with this fabulous footwear brand, read about them in this recent product review. Our readership is as enamoured of their fun colours, retro styling and cushioning footbeds as I am.
The Miz Mooz showroom and head office is located behind one of their stores, which in itself is fabulous. Can’t get closer to your customer than that! So we walked through the store first in order to get to the showroom. There we were met by delightful employees, Cheryl Matson and Jeffrey Bart, who made us feel right at home. I couldn’t resist wearing my own red Miz Mooz Alcott pumps to the meeting. Needless to say they received a standing ovation.
Miz Mooz runs an impressive and tight operation. You’d never guess that aside from retail staff, the entire company is seven people, and the oldest employee is 30. Quite the young and dynamic bunch.
Cheryl and Jeffrey ran us through both their Fall and Spring collections and I was in my element. The experience took me back to my buying days as I handled all sorts of samples and prototypes. So fun! As I browsed the showroom racks, I couldn’t help but shout out: “Those are in the YLF store!”, and “Oh! I have the apple green Carlitos. I love them because they are hip and comfortable!”, and “I have a friend who bought those boots in both colours because she liked them so much!” What can I say? I’m a fan.
I asked about the origin of the unusual name and chuckling followed. Well, it turns out that aside from having a nice ring to it, “Miz Mooz” is a play on the Hebrew word for foreplay: “Meez Muz”.
The name is not the only Israeli connection. Miz Mooz also draws from Israeli footwear brand “Gazith”. According to Cheryl, Gazith is more of a sister brand than the Israeli Miz Mooz brand. “Our shoes share the same inspiration as Gazith, but we alter the line significantly to make it more suited to our market, and add our own styles. The Israeli shoes are a bit more… extreme!”
When I traveled to Israel last year, I did notice their fearlessly fashion forward footwear. I guess it makes sense to tone things down to suit the American market.
Cheryl explained that the unique distressed look of Miz Mooz footwear is created in a finishing process. “Whereas most shoes just work their way through the production line and are then placed in the boxes and shipped to customers, we have a team at the end of the line that polishes or distresses the product to the desired look, be it an extreme distressing with sandpaper or just a light burnishing with polishes. Each pair gets its own unique look through this process. It is a traditional way of making shoes — more hands on and less automated. We feel this process adds so much character to the product”. It does indeed.
The most interesting piece of information that Cheryl shared with us: black is their worst selling colour. “People don’t want to buy black footwear from us”. It makes sense. Why purchase black Miz Mooz shoes when you can choose from an abundance of happy colours. On that note, the next pair of Miz Mooz shoes on my shopping list are the Ansel oxfords in green or the Histeric oxfords in chestnut.
Another nugget to bear in mind with gift giving season around the corner: Miz Mooz recently launched a small menswear collection.
Our last stop before leaving was a wall of previous ranges. It was a great illustration of all that this little company has achieved in a short space of time. We look forward to many more winners from Miz Mooz.