Originally inspired by the design of the unconventional Earth Shoe, Yogi have gone on to become one of the most interesting shoe labels around today. Despite their relative youth, the history behind this distinctive brand, is a rich one.
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The History of Yogi Footwear
The 1990s and Duffer of St George
Like many great ideas, Yogi Footwear was discovered by coincidence. Starting life in Europe, members of the British streetwear brand Duffer of St George had been buying deadstock shoes from Cyprus and Poland. However, it was only once they discovered a selection of footwear from the brand Earth Shoes that they realised there was a gap in the market to be filled.
Featuring a negative sole design, Earth Shoes were thinner at the heel. Not only did this give the shoes a distinctive aesthetic, it is also better for your posture. This unusual design would go on to inspire the entire Yogi collection.
Similar to the brand Roots that was very popular with soul boys in the 1970s, Duffer of St George decided to trial the Earth Shoes in one of their stores. When every single pair sold out almost immediately they realised they were on to something.
The Creation of Yogi
Using the Earth Shoes as inspiration, they went to Portugal to design and create their own range. Beginning with just a couple of styles, it wasn’t long before Yogi had over 200 different samples.
As the brand began to take shape, the need to create a name that was separate from Duffer of St George became apparent. Marco Cairns, the artistic director of Yogi, has said, “we didn’t want to call it Duffer of St George Footwear. It had to be something by Duffer or something that sounded like a brand in its own right”. It is from this that Yogi was born.
Yogi’s dedication to comfort and style means they will always be a go to brand for me. It’s not often that you find a brand of shoes that feel great and can be worn with pretty much anything. Wear a pair of Yogi boots with some light chinos and a shirt for a great smart casual look.
The increasing popularity for old school music genres like northern soul and funk means that Yogi are an essential for this season. The Rufus trainers are a perfect mix of smart casual, making them a great everyday pair of shoes. Try wearing them with some straight leg jeans and a sweatshirt to complete your casual streetwear style.
Famous Wearers of Yogi
As Yogi’s popularity grew so did their recognition. With famous stars such as Paul Weller, David Beckham and Noel Gallagher wearing their shoes, Yogi quickly became a brand that was not only stylish but trend setting. Jamie Oliver is also said to have been one of the original endorsers of the Yogi brand. Much like the 70s soul youth culture, Yogi embodied a distinctive element of British culture.
Although Yogi isn't as popular as they once were they remain one of the most distinctive shoe brands around. Like many brands, Yogi managed to capture the imagination of a specific moment. Saying this, with the resurgence of vintage styles and brands, Yogi is long overdue a comeback. Their ability to create new and innovative designs whilst handcrafting premium materials means Yogi is here to stay.