HICKIES and Melissa Shoes: A Collaboration Born From a Mentorship

Mariquel Waingarten and Gaston Frydlewski — the Endeavor Entrepreneurs behind no-tie shoelace company HICKIES — were first introduced to Melissa Shoes CEO Michele Levy through the Endeavor network as a potential mentor. Now, the two innovative footwear companies are teaming up for a new partnership between the brands.

In the new “Back to School” collaboration (shown below) born out of the mentorship, all eight of Melissa’s stores in Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico will offer the HICKIES Lacing System in limited edition colors.   

HICKIES laces and Melissa Shoes “Back to School” collaboration

“This is a great step forward in expanding our footprint in quality footwear retail doors.” said Mariquel. “I look forward to seeing how this collaboration develops in the future.”

Selected into the Endeavor network in August 2015 at the 60th International Selection Panel in San Francisco, HICKIES no-tie shoe fasteners have seen explosive growth — more than 4 million units are now sold worldwide in 47 countries.

Since the company’s selection, Mariquel and Gaston have leveraged the Endeavor network to forge new partnerships, such as this one, and gain brand recognition: During the 2015 Endeavor Fashion Tour, the HICKIES founders were introduced to Diane von Furstenberg and produced a custom pair of laces just for the fashion icon. In addition, HICKIES made the news when the laces were featured on golfer Danny Willett during his win of the 2016 Masters Tournament.

In November, HICKIES raised a new round of investment with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.