RYZ is a Portland, OR-based shoe fashion brand that is trying to make a name for itself by not focusing on attracting customers in the traditional sense, but rather setting up partnerships with people to create a win-win situation. The concept of user-generated designing processes is pretty known to most of us, but hasn’t yet been applied to shoe fashion yet, as far as I can tell, in the way RYZ is doing.
Rather than dictating what’s cool or not, RYZ allows anyone to design their own shoes, based on a number of templates. A creative panel is standing by to assist you if you need help. Other people get to vote up design results, and if you’re the ‘winner’, you receive $1000 + $1 for every pair that’s sold through their shop. The shoes aren’t all that expensive, and most of them look great, but you should note that they’re largely sold in limited quantities, so speed is key. The site was officially launched in beta a little over a month ago.
(Hat tip to MoMB)