This Is What “Gender-Equal” Footwear Looks Like

Thanks to designers like Jeremy
Scott, Hedi Slimane, and the Proenza Schouler boys, this season has already seen its fair share of gender-bending on the
runway. But, while Fashion Week showmanship is
one thing, the real-life shopping experience is anything but gender-neutral. Just ask NiK Kacy, a
former Google employee-turned-designer who aims to change the footwear game
with the first-ever luxury gender-equal footwear line.

After failing to find a shoe that
he felt represented himself, Kacy (who identifies as gender fluid, or third
sex, and chooses to use masculine pronouns) decided to skip the middle man altogether and create his own. The NiK Kacy Footwear collection launched on Kickstarter today, and includes five shoe styles, including wingtips, brogues, boots, and more.

Photo: Courtesy of NiK Kacy Footwear.
The shoes aren't the only thing that's androgynous — the sizing is, too. Because Kacy had a hard time finding masculine shoes to fit his women's size 7 feet, these "gender-neutral" proportions run smaller, ranging from EU 36 to 44 (which is roughly a U.S. women's 5.5 to men's 11).

As Kacy explained on Kickstarter, “I want to show the shoe industry that our
community matters and that style should
not be defined by gender.” Considering he raised $6,000 of his $36,000 goal after just one day, he's clearly not the only one who thinks so. Watch his Kickstarter campaign video below, and see all the styles — and donate to get your pair — here

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