Our company, BILLY Footwear, is the brainchild of two Seattle locals: Darin Donaldson and Billy Price. Our focus is on shoes that embody universal design, meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone.
You might be wondering why universal design is so important to us. Well, after breaking his neck from a three-story fall in October of 1996, our co-founder, Billy, became paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to move much of his body, including his fingers. Not only did he suddenly face mobility challenges, but daily tasks that he took for granted, such as putting on clothes, became much more difficult. Throughout the years he learned tricks for getting dressed more easily. But that said, the one piece of clothing that always eluded him was shoes—he never found a pair of shoes that he felt were both attractive and that he could put on independently.
Fast forward half a lifetime later, the solution was born. Between Billy’s propensity for problem-solving and Darin’s spark for business innovation, they created a prototype that fulfilled Billy’s personal needs. But the solution Billy was seeking for his own challenges grew into something bigger—it became a mission to create mainstream shoes that are functional, fashionable, and inclusive for everyone.
It is clear that the world is ready for greater inclusion in fashion. Everybody is unique and we all want to express ourselves and feel confident. BILLY Footwear is proud to be a part of this movement.