WUZZOS_BRANDING_GOLD-02-1024x459-1

Q&A: Charlie Bird of Wuzzos deck shoes

We met up with Charlie Bird, who is behind the new brand Wuzzos, and asked him…

Charlie Bird, who has launched new deck shoe brand Wuzzos

Why start a deck shoe brand in 2019/20?

16 years managing the Product, Development and Production at Musto honed the relevant skill set and drove my ambition to launch WUZZOS.

 

What do you offer that the big brands don’t?

A key focus is quality, but more important to the idea of quality here is the overall experience of buying the product rather than just the product itself. Our business model operates direct to consumer so with less layers, we aim to operate premium quality at a lower retail price than most established consumer brands.

 

Are you a true deck shoe or do you have an element of high street?

Everything about our deck shoe has been developed with the sailor in mind but that doesn’t mean it won’t lend itself to the high street.

 

Leather laces?

Raw hide leather laces for strength and a “lock-tight” lacing system that runs continuously around the heel.

 

What does the deck shoe represent in 2020?

Function, fashion and performance.

Haven’t trainer-style deckies put the traditional design out to pasture?

Not at all. Deck shoes hold an “all round” marine function on and off the water whereas trainer style shoes are used more in a racing environment.

 

What is behind the name?

It’s a great story of family history going back to the First World War with Sir Henry Busby Bird and a decommissioned 1970’s rowing lifeboat that served a Trinity House lightvessel off the coast of Harwich called WUZZO. Full story on our website: www.wuzzos.com

 

Where will Wuzzos be in 2030?

I see WUZZOS as an outdoor brand so while the direction we take will strategically evolve, there’s no limit to the type of product we can develop.

 

Are you a sailor?

I grew up in Burnham on Crouch, Essex, sailing dinghies then a Hunter 707, Emu Excursion, for about 10 years. Escalating from there to the bow on a Kerr 9.0 then a Farr 52 on the South Coast for offshores and a Fastnet. More recently a Farrier 27, Origami, twice winning the MOCRA class during Round the Island (2010, 2018).

 

What inspired the Wuzzos design?

We wanted to keep the styling traditional to a leather deck shoe but differentiate with the components selected. Our leather is thicker than standard, hand selected and developed with a premium tannery in Europe. The outsole has undergone hours of testing and tweaking to provide superior on-deck performance.

 

How is the business going?

We launched in December 19 and managed to fulfil Christmas orders. The early part of 2020 has been focussed on fine tuning our operating model in preparation for the season ahead. There are several exciting developments in the pipeline that will be launched through the year.

 

You plan on doing branded shoes?

We have developed a process to add boat names or logos onto WUZZOS deck shoes. You can follow this on our Facebook and Instagram feeds and view the samples presented to Fairline at Boot, Dusseldorf.

 

Any tips on keeping deck shoes from smelling?

Leather is by far a better deterrent to odour than any synthetic material found in trainers but over time microbes will build up. Frequently wear your deck shoes with socks to help clean the inside, but when you do, make sure you’re wearing trousers and not shorts…!

 

And longevity – how long should a deck shoe last?

Time is irrelevant, it’s all down to usage. The superior quality components and construction used by WUZZOS will stand the tests of time.

 

What is in the compound of the soles?

It’s a secret recipe developed over hours of testing that will provide market leading performance.

 

Presumably your leather comes from ethically sound sources?

We hold a strong ethical approach when sourcing all our components and only work with the best suppliers and factories. Our next development shoe is currently in a commercialisation phase and has been designed to significantly reduce the reliance on petrol/oil derivates within the raw material ingredients that we use. This could be a game changer within the marine environment which is so badly affected by pollutants.

https://wuzzos.com/

The post Q&A: Charlie Bird of Wuzzos deck shoes appeared first on Sailing Today.

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.