One month after outdoor lifestyle footwear brand appears at Stanford’s ‘Cool Product Expo’, CEO Van Dine returns to speak on ‘sustainability and entrepreneurship’
ALAMEDA, CALIF. (May 21, 2008) – One month after participating in the ‘Cool Product Expo’, an invitation-only gathering at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ahnu Footwear CEO Jim Van Dine returned to the university as a guest lecturer.
Entitled “The Sustainable Entrepreneur: Idea to Marketplace,” Van Dine spoke last Friday as part of Stanford’s ‘Product Realization Network.’
Providing a candid overview of the realities faced by today’s sustainable entrepreneurs, Van Dine touched on an essential question: why should a startup business incorporate sustainable and socially responsible elements when “green” no longer provides a market edge.
“At some point, the things we now call sustainable or think are leading edge, I don’http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gift think you’re going to get any more credit for doing that … than we currently do for taking our recycling out,” said Van Dine. “But, planet saving will become the biggest undertaking in history. I firmly believe this. Without question, we are going down this road, and where it leads we don’t know … but we do know that serious changes have to be effected in the way we live, in the way we manufacture, the way we recreate, and in every aspect of our lives.”
The speech was prompted by Ahnu’s inclusion in Stanford Business School’s an annual event sponsored by the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing and the Product Design Club at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Rick Reis, Director of Special Projects for the Stanford Product Realization Network, met Van Dine at the Expo. Their conversation sparked the idea for a future lecture.
“When I talked to him about his philosophy … about where (Ahnu) manufactured things, where they designed things, how he felt about manufacturing and employment and his global sense, I realized that if this was interesting to me, it would also be interesting to (our students),” said Reis.
Hosted every spring, the Cool Product Expo strives to build excitement around progressive products and companies. This year’s Expo attendees spanned the spectrum from transportation (Tesla Motors, Dahon Folding Bikes); to green power (DLight Design); to online entities (Reputation Defender).
“Cool”, according to Stanford, is broken down into three components: factor, edge, and function. For “factor,” coolness is readily apparent, requires no explanation; “edge” means radically new, not just an improvement on an existing product; and “function” refers to the essential combination of design and manufacturing.
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Low-profile designs spice up spring with creative materials and natural bright tones
ALAMEDA, CALIF. (May 5, 2008) – In a subtle season where back-to-basics styles are dominant, finding a true bright spot is as easy as looking earthward.
Blending lively colors, multiple material construction and easy-going low profile designs, Ahnu Footwear’s spring collection is a hit.
“Our commitment to staying on the leading edge of color and material trends began with the first pair of Ahnus ever made, and continues through the current season,” said Jacqueline Lenox, Ahnu Footwear vice-president of product & design. “We watch both fashion trends as well as what’s popping in the outdoor world, and hone in on the best of both worlds.”
Livening up any ensemble from a basic sundress to blue jeans, Ahnu’s spring palette includes a “Blade Green” reminiscent of fresh leaves, the subtle pink of “Thistle”, and a refreshing “Bay Blue.”
The line builds on Ahnu’s traditional talent for mixing multiple materials in a single piece, and as a result has captured new fans as well as a featured appearance in the May 2008 Nordstrom catalog.
“The Ahnu design approach starts with accurate color forecasting, but it really comes to life through the selection of materials,” added Lenox.
With surface textures ranging from broad cell mesh and waterproof leather to climbing webbing and elastic, a “single-color” pair of Ahnus can convey a broad variety of subtleties and material intrigue.
Spring bright points for Ahnu include the Tilden … which will appear in the Nordstrom catalog … an active profile sandal made to go anywhere and do anything with the comfort and ease of an around-town slip on. Active colors are used in the broad-cell mesh upper as well as the climbing webbing-style asymmetrical lacing system. ($79)
The Ahnu Benicia ($79) is a sporty casual “mary jane” style with the underfoot support of an athletic shoe, while the Ahnu Dolores is a graceful ballet flat with the gritty heart of a climber. The body of both shoes reinforce the Ahnu story, with highly breathable space mesh, plush suede and nubuck leather overlays ($79).
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