Putting the FUN in FUNctional footwear!
ABOVE | Two of the original sample pairs of rubber (FLEXI) soled PKs, now named HoLeo MoLeo, and Acid Rain..
PaperKrane is the online destination for kids’ footwear, blending fun with functionality. Steered by the quirky creative partnership of Kate Corleison and Zara Cooper, the brand’s inception in 2012 has seen it evolve from a simple handmade business into a pioneering kids’ fashion enterprise with a dedicated clientele that stretches from Australia and New Zealand to the United States and beyond. With a rebellious side erring on the best of individuality, and always with a healthy dose of humour and mild cheek, PaperKrane has established its designs as the must-have shoes for little feet.
Wanting to extend the age-bracket and wearability of PaperKrane’s trademark soft soles and become a true force to be reckoned with amid the global footwear market, 2016 saw Kate and Zara begin formulating a plan to incorporate a line of rubber soles.
ABOVE | New paper packaging, now hand screen printed on site by the factory.
Thus the stage was set for the adventures of the travelling PKs as Kate and Zara searched for the perfect place to outsource their manufacturing dreams to.
A small factory in Vietnam won them over in its promise to enable the design duo to deliver a new range of footwear in greater quantities while respecting the handmade grass roots of the business. With previous experience in the shoe industry, and continued use of handmade processes throughout the shoe production process, Kate and Zara knew they had found the factory that was their perfect fit.
A series of visits to Vietnam to develop the ultimate prototype ensued, designed to continue to set PaperKrane apart from the generic market offerings typically afforded via bland mass production. All the while, Kate and Zara continue to balance the demand of their usual monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) restocks as well as their level of perfectionism applied to each and every pair of soles bearing the PaperKrane name. The duo takes immense pride in having developed the perfect shoe that not only ticks the box for look but also feel in a design that has been crafted with children’s foot development at the forefront of the creative process.
ABOVE | PaperKrane's lightweight and responsive FLEXI (flexible) natural rubber sole.
Putting your children’s best feet forward is the underlying objective of the PaperKrane model, providing footwear that supports kids as they transition from crawling to cruising and walking to playing. Lightweight and flexible, PK soles mimic the barefoot feel advocated by children’s podiatry experts, not only allowing children the freedom to play unrestricted but also enabling their growing feet to develop as nature intended.
Kate and Zara champion the mums who make their small business a success, who, like the PaperKrane pair, want shoes for their kids that look amazing but also don’t inhibit their childhood adventures. PaperKrane is not just the shoes that bear its moniker but the community that has sprung from it; turning customers into lifelong friends and PK restocks into much-anticipated events which only serve to further the spirit of sisterhood shared within the PaperKrane family. The exclusive nature of the styles crafted month after month has lent itself to an active buy/sell/trade element of this very community where pre-loved PKs continue to spread the love and keep PK customers’ collections dynamic and fresh, an aspect that is at the very core of the PaperKrane philosophy. With a view to one day going toe to toe with the likes of Nike and Converse with an identifiable and iconic shoe to rival theirs, at PaperKrane the dreams are big. We don’t follow trends, we create them.
Preserving the original flavour of the PaperKrane brand, Kate and Zara will continue to serve up regular doses of adrenaline-fuelled offerings of the limited edition styles that grew their customer following from the start, and as their plans for expanding the business come to fruition, a consistent range of signature styles will serve as the ideal (and more readily available) compliment to every PK mum’s carefully curated collection.
From little feet come big plans, and as PaperKrane graduates from tots to pre-schoolers, Kate and Zara have tweens and teens firmly in their sights with the ultimate goal of making adult sizes to truly cement PaperKrane as a household name!
Click to read about the mums BEHIND THE BRAND.
- Written by Hadassah Hine for PaperKrane