The Majority

Rob Langstaff, RYZ, Portland, Oregon, USA

A self-proclaimed "sneaker geek," Rob Langstaff founded RYZ on the principle that unlike “the fashionista elite who dictate style from on high,” his company would invite anyone to design the perfect pair of shoes. Launched in June 2008, the site boasts more than 3,500 people who have signed on as members.And it’s those members who design and vet each proposed project concept.Users select one of the company’s footwear “silhouettes”to create their own custom designs,which are then uploaded to the site.RYZ then transforms the files into 3-D models that community members vote on.Winners take home US$500, shoe designer immortality and a US$1 royalty for every pair sold.Each project development cycle runs about two months.
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