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We love a garment with a good backstory, be it a cool origin story or a glam celebrity association. Now we?ve discovered a shoe brand that?s got a great yarn of its own--rescuing classic shoes from obscurity.

SeaVees is a Santa Barbara-based company that makes shoes inspired by the carefree California lifestyle of the 1960s. Back then, the brand was a way for then-owner B. F. Goodrich to put extra tire rubber to good use as sneaker soles. But the brand shuttered until the mid-2000s, when current owners Steven Tiller and Derek Galkin bought the rights.

Today?s jaunty styles are like a pop quiz in California history. For example, the stripy canvas 2/64 Baja SlipOn ($82) is named for a February 1964 article in Surfing Magazine about the nascent trend of surfing safaris; the 5/65 Westwood Tennis Shoe ($88) memorializes an Arthur Ashe win for UCLA; and the 8/63 Hermosa Plimsoll ($88) commemorates the first skateboarding contest, which took place in a Hermosa Beach junior high school parking lot.

We?ve spotted styles such as the hippie homage Bayside Sandal ($128) at Steven Alan and other exclusive shops, and now even high street?s caught on: This summer, SeaVees is collaborating with Gap on a sneaker called the 0769 ($55), after the July 1969 founding of the company in San Francisco. 

Steven Alan, 123 S. La Brea Ave.; 323-792-2271 or

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