Perfect shoes for everyone
The company, BILLY Footwear, is the brainchild of two Seattle locals: Darin Donaldson and Billy Price. Our focus is on shoes that embody universal design, meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone. The term, "universal design" is used all the time in the construction of homes and city buildings, referring to environments that accommodate all parties. Universal design has even appeared right under our noses with the advancements and popularity of smart phones, which incorporate features that are not only convenient for the masses, but also allow individuals with vision, hearing, and mobility impairments to access all the same information. The designs of these structures and gadgets are universal, so why not apply the same term to fashion?
You might be wondering why universal design is so important to them. Well, after breaking his neck from a three-story fall in October of 1996, the co-founder, Billy, became paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to move much of his body, including his fingers. Not only did he suddenly face mobility challenges, but daily tasks that he took for granted, such as putting on clothes, became much more difficult. Throughout the years he learned tricks for getting dressed more easily. But that said, the one piece of clothing that always eluded him was shoes—he never found a pair of shoes that he felt were both attractive and that he could put on independently
Smashing fashion with function, BILLY Footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. Thus the wearer can place his or her foot onto the shoe footbed unobstructed. Then with a tug on the zipper-pull the shoe closes and secures overtop the user's foot. It's simple. It's easy.