Soon-to-be UT Alumni Create the Ultimate Men’s Weekend Shoe

The bustling city of Austin, Texas, is home to hipsters, SXSW and college students proudly adorned in burnt orange. As of this month, Austin, is now home to Kit & Port, the ultimate men’s weekend shoe brand.

Inspiration

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Inspired by “a mutual love of shoes and boots,” soon-to-be University of Texas alumni Jonathan Ong and Erik Margetis cofounded Kit & Port. It all started in December 2015 when Margetis visited Ong in Singapore.

They desperately needed to replace their worn-out boat shoes and sandals with a shoe that could withstand the Singapore and Texas heat. A shoe that was still “good enough for our girlfriends to approve of,” adds Margetis.

After throwing around ideas, Ong said they came across a pair of traditional Mexican shoes called huarache sandals. Some other businesses had a similar design, but those shoes were too expensive and “it was seriously difficult to find a pair of good-looking men’s huaraches,” says Margetis.

After confiding in their friends, they found that others had the same issues and were genuinely interested in the ideal shoe they described.

“That was when we decided to start Kit & Port and create our dream weekend shoe,” says Ong.

The Lazy Saturday

The Lazy Saturday: inspired by the stunning huarache sandal’s woven leather, the silhouette of an English velvet slipper, and the outsole of a boat shoe.

The Lazy Saturday shoe is perfect for the stylish “young working professional male, two to three years out of college” says Ong. When 5 o’clock hits on Friday afternoon, these shoes are perfect for “barbecues and beer on the weekend, followed by a trip down to the lake with friends,” says Ong.

The Future

Ong and Margetis are eager to grow their brand and gain a following on social media.

“We’re excited to launch pre-orders for The Lazy Saturday in cognac brown in the beginning of May on our website! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram Instagram for more updates,” says Margetis.

While Kit & Port is currently just a shoe brand, the goal is to become a “weekend brand,” says Margetis. “As we grow, we also want to start creating data-driven designs,” says Ong. Data-driven designs are constructed based on data of how people go about their day and designed to accommodate their lifestyle.

Ong said that starting Kit & Port was challenging, but that turned out to be a good thing.

So many times, during our journey, we’ve felt like we were running at full speed with blindfolds on,” say Ong. “But one of the best assets you have as a young entrepreneur is how much you don’t know. It may sound counter-intuitive, but this lack of knowledge prevents you from being paralyzed by the fear of failure.”

Leonor Martins

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