(with additional reporting by Jamie Inocian and additional photos from Alcs Porras & from Ms. Gwen Ruais’ page)
Finally, they’re here! The quintessential men’s footwear from Cole Haan has arrived on Philippine shores and Unbox.ph was invited to cover the event.
The local launch for the much revered ZeroGrand happened last August 14, 2014 at PowerPlant Mall, Rockwell. It started off with an intimate media gathering where the good folks from 128 Dream Foundation Corporation, the guys who brought in a whole slew of premium clothing, travel and lifestyle brand (Cole Haan included), showed us step-by-step the features of the new shoe.
Business Unit Director, Jeff Paulino, explained the philosophy behind the ZeroGrand and why it is the heir-apparent to the Cole Haan’s very iconic LunarGrand. Utilizing the same idea of making a footwear that is unbelievably light and comfortable, the ZeroGrand pushes the envelope in adding natural movement to its list of benefits. With a somewhat Nike-Free-looking sole, the ZeroGrand brings together futuristic innovation with old-world craftsmanship. The video below should shed some light into the intricacies that go into designing a shoe such as this.
Coming in at only 290 grams per shoe, the ZeroGrand is the lightest and most flexible shoe Cole Haan has ever created. That’s as light or lighter than some of the shoes used for long distance running; to put in terms of gadgets, a full pair is just a little heavier than an iPad Air. It has also been made with fewer parts that equate to fewer seams that give a natural, relaxed body that makes the ZeroGrand feel nearly non-existent on the foot.
Together with the ZeroGrand is the launch of Cole Haan’s new cushioning and comfort platform called the Grand OS. It is an “operating system” for the feet that deliver greater flexibility, reduced weight, and increased cushioning. These are achieved through engineered insoles, outsoles, liners and uppers that move with each step.
The ZeroGrand combines centuries-old broguing details with biomechanics, modern details, and today’s manufacturing methods; the ZeroGrand defines the future in three simple understated words: Mass, Make, and Motion.
After an intimate media event, we were invited to an after-party of sorts inside the Cole Haan PowerPlant store. The store, it seemed, had been adequately transformed into a cozy mini lounge of sorts where the who’s-who of Metro Manila came in to celebrate.
Celebrities and known personalities alike took notice of Cole Haan’s newest offerings, some trying their feet on a couple of Lunar or ZeroGrands.
If this means anything, it simply shows the type of market that Cole Haan wants to attract. It panders to the fashion-forward and sophisticatedly mobile people. To quote the Chief Marketing Officer of Cole Haan USA, David Maddocks: “The outstanding thing about the ZeroGrand is the fact that it is highly engineered, yet beautifully designed and crafted. Cole Haan has compromised nothing. It’s stealth. It’s sleek. It’s the perfect complement to a modern, slim-cut suit – in a way that says: I mean business, but not business as usual.”
Just to add a little bit of zing to the event, we were treated to a relaxing lounge-music mix from fashion-icons turned DJ, the Zombettes (Sanya Smith and Ornusa Cadness).
All-in-all it was a pretty fun night for everyone who attended (apparently the party is free to the public as well as the regular clienteles walked in, had a drink or two and bought a couple ZeroGrands).
The ZeroGrand is available starting August 14, 2014 at Cole Haan PowerPlant, Glorietta 4 and Shangri-La Plaza branches and priced at Php 13,400.00 for the non-suede version and Php 15,800.00 for the suede version (not bad considering US priced them at $248 and $268 respectively).
To get more info and updates about the ZeroGrands and the latest Cole Haan offerings head over to their Official Facebook Page and ADD them up!