The Brand

Kork-Ease was born in Brooklyn in 1953. About twenty years later, the brand solidified its spot in footwear history with the release of the famed buffalo sandal; a sky-high platform wedge with crisscrossing thick leather straps.

That sky-high wedge sandal flourished in 1970’s New York. In the aftermath of the spirited 1960’s came the height of bell-bottomed disco fever. It’s impossible to picture any dance floor beneath the disco ball without imagining fashionistas in the crowd wearing our cork wedge.

The sandal, known as the “buffalo sandal,” is the shoe that stood in line at Studio 54. It’s also the shoe that launched a thousand copies. Beyond dance floors, our famed sandal traipsed across Manhattan crosswalks, rounded Brooklyn corners, and populated every corner of the country where disco reigned.

With retro-inspired silhouettes, the same lightweight construction, and bold leathers, Kork-Ease today is crafted for the slightly offbeat, artsy woman. The Kork-Ease woman appreciates the do-it-yourself lifestyle, and embodies a free-spirited vibe. She shops classics updated with a modern twist. In the image of that free-spirited woman, we continue to craft our classic sandals today with a more comfortable construction.

Timeline

1953

1953

With the creation of the very first cork wedge sandal, Kork-Ease begins in Brooklyn in 1953.

Polaroid of Original Kork-Ease wedge sandal

1973

1973

The wedge sandal joins the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s “Landmark Shoe Collection.” The collection contains defining shoes dating back to the 14th century.

Polaroid of well-worn pair of leather Kork-Ease platform sandals.

1974

1974

Spotted on both men and women, and worn with socks or not, Kork-Ease wedges were all over Manhattan streets.

Polaroid of people walking in New York City circa 1974 wearing platform heels.

1977

1977

Studio 54 opens, and Kork-Ease sandals become a mainstay of disco fashion. As we design today, we draw inspiration from those eclectic crowds.

Polaroid of Kork-Ease platform sandal covered in glitter.

2006

2006

H.H. Brown takes ownership of Kork-Ease, and breathes new life into the brand by reviving the classic sandal under the new name, AVA.

Polaroid of a woman's legs, she is wearing an updated version of the Kork-Ease platform wedge sandal

2013

2013

Custom Kork-Ease wedges hit the EMERSON runway show during New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Polaroid of a woman's legs, she's wearing a custom pair of platform sandals on a fashion runway.

2014

2014

AVA is updated with our new 2.0 Comfort Technology, which provides a more comfortable foot bed. The result is a new shoe called AVA 2.0, which joins a line of our classics updated with 2.0 Comfort Technology.

Polaroid of a woman walking on a cobblestone street in Brooklyn, New York, wearing Kork-Ease platform sandals.

2016

2016

We dug into our archive in order to recreate our original silhouette and reimagine it in four nostalgic-inspired leathers for a Free People collab.

Polaroid of several pairs of special edition Kork-Ease platform sandals lined up on a store shelf.