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Boo! BTS of our Kids Virtual Halloween Art Class

Step behind the scenes of our virtual Halloween art class for kids!

To celebrate Halloween, we invited our sneaker designer Jannie Denney, to lead a virtual art class for kids. Our young invitees were able to design their own Blowfish Malibu Kids sneakers!

Before the event, everyone was sent a pair of sneakers, fabric markers, as well as loads of candy and Halloween goodies. Costumes were encouraged, of course! This was such a fun way to celebrate Halloween safely, while also letting the little ones be creative.

Check out the class here and feel free to color on your own sneakers at home!

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Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Jannie Denney

Get to know one of our brilliant Designers at Blowfish Malibu, Jannie Denney.

Thanks for taking the time to meet with us, Jannie! We’re excited to learn more about your role at Blowfish Malibu, what inspires you, and what excites you about the future with the brand.

Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu:

Officially, I am the Design Director & Senior Designer of Active Lifestyle Footwear. Unofficially, if you ask my fellow designer Chip Bronsky, I am the Madhatter at Blowfish. What does a design director do you ask? Well, that means I make the sneaker collection come to life.

Simply put, the narrative is as follows: contemplation+conception+ creative brainstorming, design, development and then sales. I like to relate it to the likeness of a badass chef (in this case, I’m a badass sneakerhead/designer) in the sense that I come up with the theme of the meal, set out to source and create the ingredients. I mix it all up and put out an extraordinary plate to sell and hope the people love it and come back for more.

When did you first become interested in designing?

I am really the definition of a sneakerhead. From ages 5-16, I grew up overseas as an American in Saudi Arabia with an obsession of what defined a “real” American, and one of the defining things to me was “American fashion.” Especially sneakers.  I am also an artist by nature, so I would always reimagine, sketch-up, and design things I would love to wear. To go into the field of a designer, and even narrowing that to the field to sneaker designs, is a dream come true. If you know me from this industry, you know that I have been designing sneakers for a while. So, when I approached Blowfish in 2016 and told them they needed a sneaker assortment, they agreed and welcomed me with open arms. It’s been a frenzied fashion rollercoaster ride since then!

What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?

Oh, my…. just about everything and anything. My career follies are one for the books! I started my career in fashion, so I did everything from working as a stylist for MTV videos to designing for Forever 21 to being a graphic designer and – perhaps most importantly – waited tables! Everyone in the world should have to wait tables!  Whenever someone asks me how I became a good public speaker I tell them, “waiting tables, my friend.” You get a really well-rounded life education on some of the best career skills needed to be successful in this world such as public speaking, selling, multitasking, “reading a room” and learning to put a smile on when you feel like tongue lashing someone.

With that being said, I started sketching for Candies & Esprit kids back in 1998-2000. From there I moved on to BBC International in Boca Raton and left in 2004 with brands such as Marvel, Everlast, Steve Madden, and Director of Airwalk under my belt. The next step was flying back home to LA in 2004 to work for Rocketdog as a Senior Designer with Stephen Hoyt as my creative director to help start their sneaker program. When Stephen left to start Blowfish in 2006, I became creative director and lead designer for Rocketdog until 2009, which was to become one of the milestones in my footwear career. I then moved to Zigi to become their marketing director and created the brand Rock & Candy for them. Again, another challenging and exciting milestone in my career path.

I took my passion for eco-friendly & sustainable projects to a new level in 2012 when I started my own lifestyle brand Tigerbear Republik, a brand that had a mission to F.I.G.H.T.= Feed, Inspire, Give, Help & Teach. The products would help the world without hurting it.  The brand was voted by Whoopi Goldberg on The View to be in the top 5 best brands to give as a gift in 2015. It was a surreal dream when I got to see both Hugh Jackman and Whoopi rocking my shoes on the show! After giving birth to my daughter Ara in 2015, I decided to take a step back from running around the world for my own brand and decided to just do it for Blowfish Malibu in 2016, partnering with my former creative director and one of my mentors, Stephen Hoyt.

It has been a challenging and thoroughly rewarding journey doing what I do best – SNEAKERS!

What projects at the brand have you been working on that you’re excited about?

The 4Earth program is a program I am immensely proud of.  For those who know me, know I like a challenge and this has been quite the beast to wrestle. Since the start of my research into sustainable living and footwear in 2008, I see how much sustainable advancement there has been in the world of footwear. Not only do we as designers get to partake in designing & developing footwear that would provide awareness and an example of how to be sustainable, but we would also in turn help contribute to Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation in the world. Win-Win situation, wouldn’t you say?

What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?

Honestly, I love to travel the world, and working in fashion allows me this privilege. I love immersing myself into different cultures, foods, smells, history, art… literally everything.  Covid-19 has taught us endless lessons and one lesson it taught me was to never take my traveling for granted. It is a gift, a pleasure, and a luxury that many cannot afford. I am quite blessed and grateful that it is wrapped in the nuances of my job.

In one day, I climbed the rustic cobblestones of Istanbul in search of the greatest colors and drank Turkish tea while snacking on Turkish delight. I sketched on the saffron-scented corners of the grand bazaar and reviewed the collection with the design team while lounging on gorgeous Turkish pillows, taking in the scents of roasted meats. Was that a made-up fantastic story? Nope, that’s me and that is why I love my job in the fashion industry.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

All of the above, and working with Chip Bronsky. That guy is the best design partner ever! Besides being quite talented, he deals with my crazy and always keeps me laughing, even in the worst of times. Cheers Chip!

The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?

I’m a true & true LA Girl. Yes, I grew up overseas but I spent every summer vacation in LA to stay with my father’s side of the family. They are 2nd generation Mexican-Americans.

My favorite part of LA is that the city is always alive. There is always something to do and somewhere to go. Do you want to go play dodgeball dressed as a princess? Guess what, there’s a group doing just that. You want to eat a pancake that is wrapped in rice noodles and deep-fried then topped with maple glazed veggies and bacon? Well, I know the name of the restaurant. Where else can you watch an outdoor movie while sitting next to Charlie Chaplin’s & Marilyn Monroe’s grave?

LA is full of the greatest pleasures, adventures, novelties, and mysteries. I love LA.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

Ok, so I am biased because I love all of the sneakers I design. Some sneakers may be prettier than others, but I love them all the same. So I like to spend valuable time with each and every one of them.

At this moment, the PLAY in Rainbow Tie-dye & the MARLEY in Latte Spots have been stealing all my attention… those spoiled kids.

What advice would you have for someone who’s trying to pursue the same career as you?

The advice I would give is the same I would give to my children when asked the question, “what should I do as a career?”

I would say do what you love. When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. When I started in shoe design, I really just started playing. Being a designer is more of a mental battle than anything. You have to keep innovating & challenging yourself to be better, work smarter and be somewhat of a foreseer. To see the future of fashion because that is where we live and breathe.

Have confidence in yourself and the work you put forth, because when you falter in your confidence, then your team does too. So, don’t let that happen!

So, if you love to design, love fashion, and love challenges this is the field for you. Do not give up on your dreams, ever, even when your path seems a bit discouraging. You have one life to live – there is no repeat or rewind button – so go out there and live your best life.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

Metaphysical teachings.

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

Oh, this is a long story, so I’ll make it short. I’m a third culture kid. Being an American growing up with a Mexican-American father and a tough-as-nails Thai mother in Saudi Arabia was definitely life-defining. So, my formative school defining years was going to an international school in the desert in the richest country in the world. How has that shaped me? Well, I’m crazy as a bat and that’s how I like it. I think my crazy mixed up life experiences has made me more compassionate and considerate to everyone. It’s also allowed me to bring all that crazy creative energy to my art which has made me quite successful. So a little dose of crazy seems to be the key to success these days! I can also make a mean Thai Curry Burrito.

What’s your dream travel destination?

It’s a battle between Egypt & Iceland.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Anthony Bourdain.

When do you feel best about yourself?

When I’m with my 3 children.

What’s your personal motto?

Live your life as if you are the superhero in your own movie. Dream big and live bigger and greater than you have ever imagined. Because limitations that are put upon you in life is only an illusion.

What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?

When I have a little vodka in my system, I like to pretend I’m in the WWW. My wrestling name is the Thai Tiger.

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from: My children
I can’t live without: My children
You can find me shopping at: the Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market!
My astrological sign is: Aquarius.
I’m scared of: Ghosts.
The last book I read was: IKIAGI, The Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life
Most people would say I’m: Crazy, but talented
I’m currently listening to: Joe Rogan, Bailey Sarian & The 5th Kind
My style mantra is: Comfort is key.
I feel most comfortable: In my sweats…all day, every day.

“Chancho! Give me some sweats!” Nacho Libre

When I woke up today I felt: Awesome.
Most people don’t know: Arabic.
I feel the best when: I’m in my design element and I happen to have neon pink eyeshadow on.

Thank you, Jannie! We’ll catch up with you soon.

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal.

New Year, New Shoes

New year, new you. Err… I mean, new shoes! 

2019 is just around the corner, and what better way to kick off a new year than with some fresh footwear? Here are some of our top picks to help you put your best foot forward in 2019!

Vianna

We’re massive fans of this Western inspired bootie. Partner them with your favorite pair of denim and a leather jacket for a look that’s easy and effortless this January.

Koto SHR

We’re heading into the most rainy part of the year, so it’s essential that you have the gear to keep you cozy and warm while the weather outside is dismal. Koto SHR is a water-resistant shearling lined sneaker that will keep you both comfortable and dry at the same time.

Rider

Rider is hands down one of our favorite pairs of boots this season. Chunky, yet on-trend, Rider is the kind of boot that can go with everything in your closet. Whether you pair them with leggings or your trusted pair of skinny jeans, round out the look with a vintage tee and oversized sweater.

Batik

We’re ALL about adding a little bit of height to your every day look, which is why Batik is a no-brainer when it comes to ankle booties. A low profile silhouette with a wedge heel to give your outfit a boost, Batik can easily be worn day or night in 2019.

Playwire

The weather may be gloomy, but that doesn’t mean your outfit has to be. Enter Playwire: a metallic take on our favorite Play sneaker, which will help you stand out from the crowd. Pair with an all black ensemble to really let your shoes do the talking.

Mondo

Mondo is easily one of our favorite sneakers for day-to-day running around, so it’s no surprise that these made our list of must-haves for the new year. Both comfortable and functional, these are a stylish additional to any girl’s wardrobe.

Viejo

A high boot is essential for any cold weather season, and Viejo is a spectacular choice for any look. Highly reviewed by everyone who wears it, Viejo will help you ride into the warmer months with ease.

Marley

Marley will forever be our go-to sneaker, and we are obsessed with this winter floral pattern for the season. The weather outside may be dreary, but that doesn’t mean your outfit needs to be!

Which new shoe is your favorite! Let us know by tagging us on Instagram!

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal.

BTS: Spring & Summer 2019 Photo Shoot!

It’s that time of year again: photo shoot season!

Our marketing team spent the beginning of November hard at work prepping to shoot our upcoming styles for Spring/Summer 2019.

One of the days on set, we spent at a beach house on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. We got there just as the day  was breaking, and was fortunate enough to see the most beautiful sunrise. We all enjoyed bagels and coffee for breakfast and then got straight to work turning the house into our photo studio for the day!

 

This shoot was particularly fun, as we got to host a plethora of little ladies on set! Working with kids can be challenging, but these girls were a dream and we all had blast entertaining them in between shots. How cute are they!? (And, I mean, just look at all the adorable mini Blowfish Malibu shoes!)

The details in the house that we shot at were impeccable. Details, like the surfing book pictured below, can really add a lot of specialness to a shot. (The book definitely made it into to images!) And how great is that wooden walkway in the sand (pictured below)? All these little details really help to add to the bigger picture.

We were lucky to work with a super talented photographer again. We’ve been working with Andrew and the team from Matrimony Media for a while now, so whenever we have a shoot, it’s like hanging out with old friends who we don’t get to see very often. There’s lots of goofing around in between outfit changes, but when we need to get to work, we get it done.

Take a look at our photo shoot behind the scenes below!

Overall, shooting in Malibu is always a great time – as it’s our home! All of us love being on the beach and find any excuse we possibly can to escape to our little paradise along the Pacific Ocean.

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Blowfish Malibu

Just when you think you really know someone…

You might follow us Instagram and like us on Facebook. Maybe you participate in (and possibly have even won!) our giveaways.  Perhaps you read our blog and shop our campaign look books. We’re your go-to for laid back, casual and comfy shoes at affordable prices and we couldn’t be happier about it. But how much do you really know about us, your favorite shoe brand? I think you might be surprised! Read on to discover some little known fun facts about us.

Blowfish Malibu was born in New Jersey and Malibu.

Our humble beginnings started in a little office in Edison, New Jersey where all members of the team (which was only 3 people) worked to run operations, finance and sales. Our design team (all of 1 person) was based in Malibu. We made the move to one single company out of California in 2009!

Our office is not in Malibu, but one of our founders is from Malibu.

Though we dream about having an office in Malibu, we are actually based in sunny Culver City, California.  One of our founders is from Malibu and you better believe we frequent his house a lot! We are all deeply inspired by the Malibu lifestyle. Have you ever been?

Our name now is longer than the original.

Our original name was just Blowfish for about a year before we lengthened it to Blowfish Malibu. Who knew!?

You can find Blowfish Malibu around the world.

While we have set our roots in the US, we can be found around the world including France, Canada, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and even Australia. Keep your eyes peeled for us on your travels! And if you’re ever looking for a store, our store locator also includes stores outside of the US.

We make big and little shoes.

We have expanded our line to include womens, kids and even toddlers now.  Now your little-uns can wear Blowfish Malibu. (See here!) We will be expanding this collection to add more toddlers styles for Fall 2018!

We’re serious about being laid-back, comfy and casual.

99% of our shoes are made with some sort of easy way to wear them. Our booties include an inside zipper for easy on and off, velcro is used to easily put on a pair of sandals, and even our sneakers have elastic so you can quickly slide them on and off. We’re determined to make your life easy!

Our prints are designed in house.

Every print you see on our shoes has been designed by our talented team of designers. Whether it’s a floral print or California-inspired, we take pride in knowing no one else has our prints!

TV Famous?

Back in 2010, MTV filmed a reality episode of “Hired” at our offices, when we were on a quest for an international sales assistant. The whole episode was dedicated to us, and we did in fact hire someone in the end!

One of our co-founders was a gymnast!

True story! We are happy he decided on a career change, or else maybe we wouldn’t be here today!

More than just shoes?

Though we love creating, designing, and selling shoes, we also want to offer more. Stay tuned, we have a lot of exciting things in the mix! Maybe one day we’ll be making more than just shoes! 😉

Meanwhile, to ensure you’re seeing our newest product, fun giveaways and updates, make sure you follow us on Instagram!

Shoe Designer Spotlight: Meet Marcy Cail

We chat with long-time Blowfish Malibu shoe designer, Marcy Cail, in an exclusive interview!

I think it’s fair to say that shoes can make or break an outfit. They are the ultimate accessory and sometimes they even steal the entire show. We all love our shoes, of course, but have you ever wondered whose artistic endeavor and design ended up on your feet? Well, today you get to meet one of them. Friends, we introduce you to Marcy Cail, a Blowfish Malibu shoe designer since 2013 and a shoe biz whiz for the past 13 years. She describes her specialty as, “boots with lots of hardware and bling, sandals with lots of hardware and bling, and sneakers with lots of hardware and bling.” Laughing, she adds, “I think there’s a theme here!”

Marcy, along with the talented Blowfish Malibu design team, travel all over the world to bring back inspirations of the newest original styles. Their creative process includes careful attention to the details that add quality, style, and an unexpected twist to final designs. We got to ask this veteran shoe designer about her inspirations, favorites, and what she really thinks about Blowfish Malibu Shoes.

marcy cail interview

How long have you been designing shoes?

I have been in the shoe business for 13 years. Initially, I worked in customer service and sales support. The design department intrigued me. I remember thinking, ‘I want to work there and design shoes!’ Later, one of the designers taught me to sketch shoes in exchange for lunch. He critiqued my sketches and taught me technical measurements and standards. Then one day, I sold everything I owned and moved to NY to work in fashion, designing shoes. I have been doing it ever since.

What is your favorite thing about designing shoes?

Shoes make a statement! You really can tell so much about a person by their shoes.

What inspires your shoe designs?

I think my greatest inspirations come to me in my dreams… and those ideas literally keep me up at night. During design season, I keep a notebook next to my bed for this reason.

What makes a good shoe? 

I would say a good shoe is one that is inspired by a challenge. A good example of this is the flat Balenciaga used in their S/S 2011 runway. This flat was designed because top model Gisele Bundchen refused to walk the catwalk wearing high heels. Thus, the Balenciaga Cut Out Creeper was designed. I love this shoe.

Where could we find you when you aren’t designing shoes?

Traveling, cooking dinner whilst dancing, running, yoga, gardening.

Where is your dream destination?

An African safari.

If you weren’t a shoe designer, what would you do?

Design jewelry. I love jewelry!

Do you have an all-time favorite Blowfish Malibu style?

The Duo because it is a great example of my obsession with details.

What sets Blowfish Malibu apart from other shoe brands?

There is a whole team of amazing people at Blowfish Malibu, working from all parts of the world (US, Europe, Asia). I would like to say Blowfish Malibu is special because of the amazing designs 😉 but that’s literally just the beginning. I think what really sets us apart is the passion that every “fish” contributes to making it happen. There is heart in the shoes. <3

How would you describe your own personal style?

I am drawn to anything that sparkles, like a moth to a flame.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

An owl. And not because I am wise, but because (like owls) I have a staring problem.

What are you currently listening to on repeat?

“Beatific” by Glass Candy. I wish they would release a new album already.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to get into footwear design?

Seek mentors, ask questions, and make sure you are a part of a great team.

Thank you Marcy!  

Check out Marcy’s website and shop her designs at Blowfish Malibu here

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