BILLY Footwear is the brainchild of two Seattle residents: Darin Donaldson and Billy Price. They focus on shoes with a universal design, which means they appeal to everyone and fit everyone. The term "universal design" is used all the time in the construction of homes and urban buildings, referring to environments that accommodate all . Universal design has even come under our noses with the advancements and popularity of smartphones, which include features that are not only convenient for the masses, but also allow people with visual, 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 may be wondering why universal design is so important to them. Well, after breaking his neck after falling from a third story in October 1996, Billy, the company's co-founder, was left paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to move much of his body, including his fingers. Suddenly, not only was he faced with mobility challenges, but everyday tasks he had taken for granted, such as putting on clothes, became much more difficult. Over the years, he has learned tricks to make getting dressed easier. But truth be told, the one thing that always eluded him were shoes - he could never find a pair of shoes that he found attractive and that he could put on himself.
The basic concept of BILLY footwear is a zipper that runs along the side around the entire shoe, allowing the upper of each shoe to be fully opened and open. This way, the user can freely place his foot on the shoe insole. Then, when the zipper is pulled, the shoe closes and secures the wearer's foot. It's easy. That's easy. The same concept makes the shoes perfect for children wearing orthoses, because after opening the upper, we can put the foot in with the orthosis, check if everything fits well and then fasten the zipper, without the hassle of stuffing or pressing the foot while putting it on.