How the great Aussie fashion fail's been fixed
IT'S the solution everyone who has ever blown a footwear tyre has long cried out for and now a Gold Coast-based company believes it has the answer.
There was always a risk wearing the staple of Australian footwear, the thong.
Walking down a dusty, stone road or crossing a field covered with bindiis in a pair of pluggers came with the risk a strap would pull free, leaving the wearer in peril. Add a magpie overhead and it was the recipe for destroying an idyllic spring day.
The answer to the problem has been delivered by Willi Footwear which has partnered with a US distributor to take it to the world.
It's come in the form of the distinctly Australian feature of boomerang-shaped plugs that minimise the chance of a blowout.
They come with interchangeable straps, allowing the wearer to customise the base with different coloured straps.
After selling several production runs totalling more than 50,000 pairs, including a completely sold-out Australian 2015/16 summer, Willi has taken delivery of a new batch for Australia's upcoming summer, as well as the next US summer season.
Managing director and founder of Willi Footwear, Brad Munro, first came up with the idea to develop a flip flop with an unbreakable plug after a thong mishap left him shoeless and denied entry to a German beer hall six years ago. That's a problem no-one should have to face.
After a long and expensive process securing patents and intellectual property protection Brad is himself blown out at interest also coming from Japan, Greece, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Munro attributes the interest in Willi Footwear not just to the innovative "no blowout" plugs, but also the customisable option in a disposable marketplace.
Celebrity beach lovers like Home and Away star Dan Ewing, Trent "Maxi" Maxwell from Bondi Rescue and Ironwoman Courtney Hancock, as well as football players Johnathan Thurston, Scott Prince and Dan Mortimer have been seen sporting Willi thongs.
Available in selected stores and online at www.willi.com.au