Hype DC is thrilled to announce a new brand in store next week: Keep Shoes. With a humanistic ethic and environmental leanings, Keep is also extremely DIY, staying independent despite a lot of interest from the big boys. Their designs are simple and fun, ranging from tweed loafers to comfy boat shoes. We’re expecting big things from Keep at Hype DC.
Below is an excerpt from a chat Keep co-founder Una Kim did with Hearty Magazine which should give you a better idea of what they’re all about. For the whole interview, click here.

The Keep name was partially based on the idea of a keepsake.

We weren’t named Keep just for the idea of a keepsake, though that was part of it. I like the concept of a keepsake, that an object could hold a memory and be valuable enough on a personal level to want to treasure it. But I also like all the other connotations of “keep” such as “earning your keep” which signifies independence or to “keep at it” which suggests perseverance.

What are your favorite personal keepsakes?

In regards to keepsakes, I am a bit of a pack rat so I have a lot of little things that are favorite keepsakes of mine. I’ve got a little coin purse that my grandmother used to carry around with her until the day she died. I have a pretty big coffee mug collection–probably one of the reasons why we have a Keep mug.

Keep was initially created as a brand for women, when did men start adopting your silhouettes and wearing the shoes?

Since day one I’ve received emails from guys who wanted to wear the shoes. We expanded our size range pretty quickly, starting with the second season. I didn’t expect to get that much love from the dudes, but it was pretty heavy from the beginning.

I think it really says something when you have a women’s company appeal to men, because the inverse is usually the norm.

I suppose I felt vindicated in a certain sense, because so many things I was into growing up were denied to me, simply because it didn’t come in my size. But beyond the initial smugness, I’m just happy we appeal to a broad range of people. I’m psyched that guys like Keep and I hope they continue to buy Keep and support it. Gender, especially in fashion, is such a construct. Just like what you like and support the things that resonate with you. That’s all I could hope from my customers.

Keep Shoes hits Hype DC stores next week. Come in and check em out.