The Partner in Crime
“A dash of future and a touch of cowboy” is how Mark Wystratch defines his style. “My earliest fashion memory was getting my first pair of shoes, which were actually boots. They were Justin Roper lace-ups and I went by the moniker of ‘Cowboy John.’” Guess the shoe fetish started early. Today, the former actor/ model/surf wanderer is the co-founder of The People’s Movement, the Solana Beach-based sneaker company that could knock TOMS off its perch. After all, co-founder and action sports hero Kevin Flanagan, aka Flanny, is at the helm of this eco line aimed at hipsters, gypsies and saving the earth. The company has partnered with Bombastic Plastix, using old plastic bags found in Bali for its shoe applications and packaging. “As surfers and environmentalists, we’ve found that’s the largest threat to the health of our planet,” says Wystratch. The “MOVMT,” as the brand is known, stands for more than just shoes. “I design for the young at heart who are always effortlessly cool because of their spirit. It’s for people that are passionate about timeless design, fashion and the environment.”
The big question (literally) for People’s Movement co-founder Kevin Flanagan, is: will the company make size 15 shoes? Flanagan laughs: “We’ll definitely be making bigger sizes,” mostly to outfit a lot of his friends who play in the NBA and NFL. At 6 feet, 9 inches, Flanagan played basketball at University of Arizona, where he met his wife, Alex, an NFL commentator. The action sports vet and former Reef VP was initially inspired by a worker’s shoe in China, envisioning the new brand, starting with shoes and expanding to hats, belts and more. Products are made with eco-conscious materials and sell everywhere from American Rag and Fred Segal to Sun Diego and Surf Diva. As for his personal style, Flanny says he’s “creatively fitted.” “I roll my sleeves because they’re too short or cuff my high-water pants to make the look appear intentional.” Locally, he and the in-law are inspired by local brands like Stance Socks, Shaper Studios, Raen Sunglasses, Nixon, Rusty Surfboards, Anders Creative and Vanity Hair Studio. “The Vanity Girls use organic supplies, keep my neck clean and make our shoes look hot,” says Flanny. That’s quite the winning combo.