John Fluevog Biography
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Fluevog spent much of his youth at his father’s drive-in ice cream parlour. During this time, he developed a passion for cars, which in turn has provided inspiration for many of his shoe designs. As his company’s website declares, “When he’s drawing a shoe, he’s thinking about a car and, when he’s drawing a car, he’s thinking about a shoe”.
After spending a summer hitchhiking the west coast, Fluevog returned to Vancouver and began working for Sheppard’s Shoes. In 1970, he joined forces with fellow co-worker Peter Fox to start their own shoestore in Vancouver’s Gastown. The partnership, known as “Fox and Fluevog”, lasted over ten years before the two split amicably in 1981. In 1985, Fluevog opened his own store in Seattle, financed in part by the sale of his car.
During the 1980s, Fluevog was the first to import Dr. Marten shoes into North America. By the 1990s, Fluevog had opened five privately owned and operated stores in Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, and New York. His shoes began to appear in magazines such as Vogue, in fashion shows for Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson, and upon the feet of celebrities such as Madonna and Lady Miss Kier. In her movie, “Truth Or Dare”, Madonna opens a box of hot pink platform Fluevogs, slips them on, walks toward the camera and says, “Ya like ‘em?”. Fluevog shoes also were popular in the fashion of the Seattle Grunge movement, particularly his “Angel” boots that included the inscription “Resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue and Satan” on their soles. By the end of the 1990s, Fluevog had stores in San Francisco and Chicago. These were followed in the 2000s by stores in Los Angeles, Montreal, and a new flagship store in Gastown. As of August, 2010 there were 11 Fluevog stores.