Sitges Bears Week kicks off in the Spanish coastal resort this weekend, with an estimated 5,000 big and hairy guys gathering for Europe’s biggest get-together of hirsute hunks.
One company that’s already seeing a brisk upturn in interest is the Spain-based Pride Shoes, which began producing a range of rainbow-colored sneakers to mark Pride events earlier this summer.
The latest addition to its range? Bear sneakers – emblazoned with the bear flag and a black paw print.
Alberto Dominguez, the man behind the company, tells GSN that Pride Shoes launched four months ago – after he spent a year of hard work on research and product design.
After producing sneakers to commemorate Madrid Pride, the company is currently planning to produce sneakers for ten European Pride festivals in 2017.
‘You can also get our products in Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza, Gran Canaria, and Amsterdam so far, but we are spreading and hopefully very soon you will be able to find us in Sitges and Torremolinos in Spain, and in some other cities around Europe.’
Dominguez says that he has already been surprised by the response to the bear shoes, which are currently being produced and will be available from the end of this month.
Because they’re not yet available, they’re currently on pre-launch sale for €78 ($87) from the Pride Shoes website (rising later to €98/$110) – with the shoes being shipped from end of September.
If that seems pricey, Dominguez wants to emphasize that the sneakers are not produced by exploited workers in an Asian sweatshop.
‘We make 100% of our shoes in Spain – no Asia, no kids, no tricks… professionals making high-quality, fair trade shoes. We think is possible to succeed making things here in Europe; in this case in Spain.’
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the shoes go to the LGBT diversity and sexual health nonprofit group ImaginaMAS.
‘Right now 1% of our benefits go to ImaginaMAS, but we are a humble and new brand trying to make our way in this competitive fashion world. We will always try to help the community.
‘Hopefully we can keep growing step by step and make many, many shoes for the community.’