In the global footwear industry, Brazil is known to be the top producer of rubber or plastic shoes. But in the US—specifically in Atlanta, Georgia—one company has been crafting some of the best jelly footwear since 2005.
Named Oka-B, the brand has also been available in the Philippines for seven years now. However, despite gaining a loyal following, the brand remains unknown to many. It is for this very reason that the company has decided to reintroduce its growing portfolio of products to more Filipina consumers in a bigger way this 2015.
No less than director of international sales Jackie Barnett visited the country last week to take charge of Oka-B’s re-launch at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.
In an interview with The Manila Times, Barnett shared that when Oka-B first entered the Philippine market, it had only one design to offer.
She explained, “Our most classic and iconic style is the Chloe, our first real spa shoe that you could already find in the Philippines back in 2007. When you have one style and footbed, it’s good to enter a [new]market. But now that we have such a huge portfolio, we want to make sure that Filipino women are aware of the many good choices from Oka-B.”
And according to Barnett, these new selections are part of the brand’s latest Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
Inspired by the freshness and flowers of spring, Oka-B introduces seven brand new colors including lilac, mint, watermelon, poppy, crème, latte, and mist. New styles are found in the very preppy Georgina with color matching bows; the sophisticated Sloane studded with shiny gemstone strands; and the playful Nelly with its overlaying enamel triangles.
“We are now into more trendy styles like the t-strap buckle or the ballet flats, and details like the gems and enamels. This is the first season we are launching these styles,” Barnett further informed.
Besides the said styles under the new collection, the brand’s core products are still an important part of Oka-B’s offerings like the essential flip flops and ballet flats in solid and pastel colors, as well as a bridal collection perfect for beach weddings.
Asked to talk more about Oka-B, Barnett shared, “We are an American brand that is American made . . . which is pretty exciting because less than one percent of shoes in the world are made in US. We are very, very proud of that.”
While the company is headquartered in Buford, Oka-B’s manufacturing site is located in nearby Atlanta. There, the company uses an advanced technology that seamlessly molds its proprietary Microplast into one piece of a shoe. Of this plastic material, which is anti-bacterial and waterproof, 25 percent comes from crumbled, old Oka-B pairs making the products eco-friendly and recyclable.
Another proud factor that differentiates the company among the rest is its ergonomic footbed with reflexology-inspired massage beads and sculpted heel cup that give premium support.
“For every shoe that we design—from the flip-flops to the ballet flats—has an ergonomic footbed. So that even if they are made from plastic material, they are incredibly comfortable,” Barnett explained.
She also elaborated that the company once did a study on the ergonomic footbed and it was proven to help in spine alignment and good posture.
With this, the executive concluded, “Oka-B are perfect for teachers, nurses and even models—women who are always on their feet.”