Earlier this month, Vancouver-based footwear designer John Fluevog announced that he would be releasing the Dr. Henry — a limited-edition pair of heels dedicated to Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s top doctor.
The announcement was made after dozens of social media users pointed out that Henry appeared to be an avid fan of the brand, often donning different pairs of funky, colourful Fluevogs at BC’s daily press conferences.
“Designed with her blessing and in honour of their namesake, The Dr. Henry shoes will also aid in the fight against COVID-19 with 100% of pre-sale proceeds going to support Food Banks BC,” said Fluevog in a release.
The limited-edition model is a cherry-red pair of Mary Jane heels that include cherry pink patent-leather accents as well as her signature phrase on the rootstock: “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”
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Pre-orders for the shoe opened on Thursday afternoon at 4 pm; they had to be purchased online and were limited to one pair per customer, with an expected delivery date for Summer 2020.
Shortly after the shoe was uploaded on the website, it became evident that not even Fluevog was prepared for the massive demand the shoe had garnered.
The website appeared to crash within minutes of release, with the company reporting “technical difficulties” on social media.
Hold tight everyone! Our website is experiencing technical difficulties and we’re working on it!
— John Fluevog Shoes (@Fluevog) April 23, 2020
Eager customers reported issues making payments and even attempting to add the shoes to their cart.
Fortunately, many were good-spirited about it and happy about the success that would be seen by the shoe and Food Banks BC.
Oh, no! We broke your website! 😂Congrats! 💛🧡💛
— Meg McCaslin (@MegMcCaslin1) April 23, 2020
I was expecting, unfortunately, the website to crash. I wasn’t expecting so many people to try ordering their sizes on this thread 😂
— Noelle Phillips (@Belladonsah) April 23, 2020
so happy for the food bank! ❤️❤️❤️
— Kathy Ramsey (@KathyRamseyArts) April 23, 2020
Has you’re site ever crashed? This must be a first. Amazing support for Dr. Henry and this beautiful shoe in her name. She must be overjoyed right now.
— Rebekah Eatmon (@RebekahEmd) April 23, 2020
Two and a half hours later, and after many technical difficulties, pre-orders for the shoe sold out, with the company saying that they “clearly underestimated” the enthusiasm.
Congrats to those of you who managed to get a pair of the Dr Henry Shoe. We are now sold out. We’re sorry for any stress caused — we clearly underestimated your enthusiasm — but are excited for the funds raised for @RealFoodBanksBC and promise to be better prepared in the future.
— John Fluevog Shoes (@Fluevog) April 24, 2020