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Famous Footwear Paints a Pretty Picture

Murals foster community engagement.

A blank canvas is not unlike the exterior of many store walls: just waiting for a talented someone to turn it into artwork for the enjoyment of passersby. Hence, Famous Footwear’s nationwide mural initiative that recently debuted in Bend, OR, and Philadelphia. The Caleres-owned chain’s effort is part of its broader “Make It Famous” campaign that celebrates empowerment, inclusivity, and creativity. The murals, in particular, seek to foster community engagement, support emerging talent, and enhance brand identity, not to mention increase foot traffic.

“This initiative highlights our commitment to community collaboration and artistic expression, empowering everyone to ‘Make it Famous’ with their unique qualities,” says Holly Campbell, senior vice president Marketing and Creative. “By partnering with local talent, we’re transforming our stores into vibrant hubs of creativity, fostering pride and unity in the communities we serve.”

Campbell says the project builds on collaborations Famous Footwear has formed with individuals across the country, like its recent Art Meant for Walking series, where artists customized sneakers and the chain promoted their creativity. The murals, specifically, celebrate individuality, creativity, and the unique identity of each community. They also aim to redefine the relationship between brands, communities, and artistic expression. “We’re excited about how we’ve been able to amplify artists work and give them a platform to express themselves, which goes beyond just selling shoes,” she says. “Our presence in the community is important to us; it’s powerful to be able to bring people together.”

The Bend mural, on the storefront at Cascade Village Shopping Center, is in collaboration with local artists Katie Daisy and Karen Eland. Their nature-inspired designs, combined with iconic footwear imagery, create a visual tapestry that celebrates the region’s natural beauty and artistic diversity. While the Philadelphia mural features renowned artist, Glossback, who brought his distinctive neon cursive style, coupled with illustrative shoe motifs, to the Warminster Towne Center storefront.

Reaction to the murals has been great, reports Campbell. “It’s a point of pride for the stores to have authentic ties to their communities in such a unique way,” she says.

More murals are planned. “We’re currently exploring markets, especially as a way to personalize our FLAIR (Famous Localized and Immersive Retail) stores and make them stand out,” Campbell says.

The July 2024 Issue

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