It’s a common city sight – shoes hanging from telephone wires, yet many people still ponder the reasoning behind this stunt. Does it reflect a community or individual’s culture? Is it an art form? Each pair of shoes has a different story, a different owner, a different lifespan. What they do have in common is a natural force: they all go up and they all come down. But Altix’s HEROSHOES are falling with a bang, they’re falling to fame.
If you think about it, picking out a shoe is comparable to choosing a path for your future. You take your time, browse through the selection, try a few on and see what not only grabs your eye, but fits your mold. Kevin Ostromecki, 19-year-old founder of Altix Clothing, didn’t go for the latest edition of Jordans or funky-printed vans. Though they fit well, Ostromecki was on a search for something unheard of. He wanted to get his name out there like everyone else, but he wanted to earn it with a genuine purpose. His mold was a devoted one – to change the world. According to Ostromecki, “we are the next generation of world changers.” But when the shopping trip is over and you’re headed to the cash register with shoes in hand, they all have a cost, so it better be worth it.
To lace up a shoe you have to be methodical. One by one, overlapping and coinciding. Ostromecki was always intrigued by graffiti, art, fashion, music and culture. Early in his junior year of high school, he played guitar for The Last Remark. Good gigs and opportunities were coming their way. Ostromecki experienced Vans Warped Tour from a view some of us can only dream of – on stage looking out at the crowd. But it was his senior year of high school and a major decision dawned: stick with the band or go to college? Ostromecki chose to go to Albright College in Reading, PA. Instead of focusing on just one passion, he immediately found a way to weave all of his interests together. During his senior year, he would come home with five orders a day for custom shoes. Essentially, Altix was born, and this was just the beginning.
Knots are tied to join two things together. In Ostromecki’s case, he made sure to stay true to his original mold and tie himself to what matters. With a desire for Altix to represent positivity and hopefulness, Ostromecki decided that a portion of the profit for every purchased pair of Altix’s HEROSHOES will benefit local charities and organizations. So far, Altix’s HEROSHOES have benefited local churches and soup kitchens, The Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. Most recently, Ostromecki secured a partnership with Potter’s House Organization, which will receive 10% of every HEROSHOES purchase. Potter’s House Organization seeks to aid the population of Guatemala City – over 11,000 people who are currently living in the largest garbage dump in Latin America. By supporting Potter’s House Organization, Altix is challenging the belief that these inhabitants are defined by their surroundings. Ostromecki believes that “we all have this in us (the power to do something great),” and after visiting Guatemala on two separate occasions, he’s proud to finally be able to share this message. Basically, Altix’s HEROSHOES are laced up, tied and ready to be thrown in to the sky.
Though it may look easy, getting shoes up on a telephone wire requires skill. You have to aim high, throw hard and pray you don’t miss it so they don’t come crashing down. Or as Ostromecki says, “Every day something new happens, new heights must be reached, new goals accomplished, and it will remain in that pattern until we’re at the top.” When launching a company, you must aim even higher, throw harder and pray longer. Fortunately, Ostromecki’s groundwork gave Altix a head start. Since he began customizing shoes in high school, he’s committed himself to creating every order of HEROSHOES. Obviously this calls for late nights, cups of coffee and an endless supply of Sharpie markers, but it’s worth it. The philanthropic efforts and signature style are what make Altix a revolutionary brand. And when he’s not designing new shoes, he’s networking constantly. Currently, Altix sponsors Flyleaf, Drowning Pool, Dizzy Wright, DJFAME, DJYEMI, Huey Mack and many more artists. Altix is also one of the official sponsors for the Fight To Unite tour, which is a diversity tour that caters to genres and people of every background and musical taste and is going on until May 5.
Most shoes that get tossed on the telephone wires remain as a reflection of culture, art or fashion, but some eventually fall down and leave their mark on the world once again. Though Altix’s HEROSHOES are still dangling in the sky right now, they’re coming loose and sure to fall in the near future. Ostromecki hopes to mass produce stock prints for HEROSHOES and sell them in stores across the country. He wants celebrities to don the Altix brand. He wants to see Altix everywhere. But most importantly, he wants to see the change that Altix brings.