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July 27, 2011

OLUKAI

HAWAII SIMPLICITY AT IT’S FINEST

Global Director of Marketing Of Premium Sandals Brand, OluKai, Visits The Philippines To Talk About The Subtle Nuances That Make The Brand So Popular

For Immediate Release: Founded in Hawaii, premium sandal company OluKai, has been on a tear since its entrance into the footwear market in 2005. Though a relatively new player in an already over saturated industry, OluKai recently took home top honors at the 8th annual Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Image Awards (SIMA) bagging the coveted and equally well deserved “Breakthrough Brand of the Year” award – testament to the innovative product.

OluKai is a unique blend of culture, style and function. The name alone, formed from the Hawaiian words “olu” for ocean and “kai” for comfort, epitomizes the brand’s virtues. Designed with the desire to improve the life we live in and around the water, OluKai offers two collections. The Mauka collection, which means “Towards the Land,” boasts the finest water-resistant leathers and handcrafted native art. The Makai Collection, which means “Towards the Water,” incorporates the latest water-resistant technology in the straps, footbeds and lining to ensure it dries quick once out of the water.

One of the fastest growing footwear brands in America, OluKai recently became available in the Philippines through retail distributor, The Primer Group of Companies. We had the opportunity to sit down with OluKai’s Global Director of Marketing, Mr. Kerry Konrady (KK), who provided us with firsthand knowledge about the brand, its history, CSR initiatives and his plans within the Philippine Market.

Q: “What is OluKai About?”
KK: “OluKai was founded in Hawaii so are the spiritual principals of the brand. Hawaii is a great place because it has a sense of family and community. Everyone is so welcoming and will take you into their homes. It’s so diverse…Hawaii has an international elite crowd and is so contemporary, yet it embraces and is socially conscious about the environment, the waves, the oceans. This is what OluKai is about. Lifestyle in, out and around the water.”

“In short… OluKai is Hawaii simplicity at it’s finest.”

Q: “What Differentiates OluKai?”
KK: “What makes us different is our approach and the way we select our materials. We are extremely concerned with quality… so it’s our attention to detail and the actual construction of our products that separate us. Each pair has our anatomical footbed that supports and positions your entire foot naturally, making you less tired while you walk. This also allows the sandals to fit your feet right when you buy them without having to break them in.”

“All of the materials we use are the best quality to ensure our sandals last. We use the best leathers and polymers with cushioning top layers for added comfort and durability.”

“In Hawaiian spirit, we’re extremely environmentally conscious. Our leathers are all sourced from environmentally conscious and certified tanneries and the soles on our sandals are made from recycled rubber.”

Q: “What Is Your Target Consumer?”
KK: “OluKai is premium footwear utilizing the best materials and technology. We target a consumer that’s knowledgeable and wants the best in class… consumers that understand something may cost them more initially but over the course of time what they get will far exceed what they’ll get if they buy a cheap pair of sandals. Our primary customers are not monetary driven but experience driven.”

Q: “What Inspires You About the Brand?”
KK: “I get really inspired with our close nit group and the sense of ohana or “family…” aspirational baseline of the brand being so authentic and being able to hang our hat on a product that’s so quality driven.”

Q: “What product innovations are in the pipeline?”
KK: “We’ve been working on a more open toe sandal you can wear in and around the water..”

Q: “Why the Philippines?”
KK: “OluKai is well established in the US. The Philippines is tropical so there will always be a need for sandals, premium ones right down to the cheap ones, with how many beaches and islands are here.”

“The process of expanding internationally is a journey of a thousand steps. We’ve been taking it methodically and want to do this organically with the right people. We were fortunately enough to have met the people from Primer who share similar visions.”

Q: “What Is Ohana Initiatives?”
KK: “Our company was founded on the principals of giving back and taking care of your community. It’s important we make a difference and we therefore created a part of the company that focuses on giving back to the community, the environment and those in need… It’s important to be a good corporate citizen and aside from giving back monetarily, we make efforts to give back in other ways like preservation and restoration initiatives.”

Q: “Will You Implement Your Ohana Initiatives In The Philippines?”
KK: “Most definitely. We’re excited about the brand and it’s place here in the Philippines… giving back and the principals of quality are translatable to other countries… it’s a global concept with local relevance. We are excited to learn about the local culture in the Philippines and to understand how we can help make a positive difference.”

OluKai is exclusively distributed by the Primer Group of Companies. For additional information, please visit: www.primergrp.com.

About Primer Group of Companies
The Primer Group’s network of companies is multiplying in a pace never achieved before. The company is now realizing its vision to become the LEADER in the global distribution and innovation of premium goods and services across the Asian region namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. After 25 years of continuous and steady growth, its retail authority has grown to over 50 premium brands, 100 free-standing concept stores and over 600 consignment doors in the Asian region. The company is set to reach greater heights through its numerous milestones and marketing commendations locally and abroad. The Primer Group of Companies is also proud to have expanded its business portfolio in the area of industrial products and services. Most recently, the company also opened its first professional retail and merchandising academy. For more information about Primer Group, visit www.primergrp.com.

For additional details, please contact:
William Hsu
Monsters Centaur Production Inc.
+63.917.522.5161
whsu@monstersproduction.com

Charmaine Palermo
Monsters Centaur Production Inc.
+63.917.899.7902 cpalermo@monstersproduction.com

 

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