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Fab 5: Frye Company’s Makers

Since 1863, The Frye Company has showcased the artistry, authenticity and passion of workmanship with its line of iconic, handmade leather products. To celebrate this rich legacy of artisanship, Frye brings its “Meet Our Makers” docu-gram series to Chicago featuring the city’s top creatives dedicated to pushing the boundaries of handcrafted goods. Here, we share a sneak peak into what they do and their favorite Frye shoe to boot! 

Sonat Birnecker of KOVAL Distillery

1. Wyatt Harness Short ($278)
Everglades native, multi-disciplinary artist and founder of Knot & Splice Nicole Jo Melton is a purveyor of U.S.-sourced jewelry textiles and objects. “Frye's designs are timeless and the color and texture of its materials lend themselves well to the wearing and aging process,” says Melton. “This is also an underlying factor in my own work in handmade jewelry and textiles. I chose the Wyatt Harness boot in cognac because I loved the variation in color and in the texture of the leather.”

2. Engineer 8R ($268)
With a background in magazine publishing, Anne Owen, founder and owner of Logan Square juice apothecary Owen + Alchemy, parallels her love of fashion with healthy eating and living. "I love the Engineer boot because it's described as a boot that pays tribute to working American men and women,” says Owen of the Moto-inspired low-rider. “The excellent quality and craftsmanship plus super functional style makes it the perfect boot for running around the city."

3. Melissa Tall Riding ($448)
“Frye has represented American craftsmanship for well over a hundred years,” says Sonat Birnecker, co-founder and spearhead of product development, distribution and marketing for the award-winning KOVAL Distillery. “My Frye boots flawlessly take me from the factory floor to a dinner party and everything in between; and given their quality and timeless style, I expect to be wearing them for years to come.”

4. Walker Midlace ($348)
Dave and Megan Miller of Baker Miller, Chicago’s first stone-milling grain company, challenge the baking status quo by sourcing, milling and baking with grains from small farms. "It is important to me to support products made in America,” says Dave. “[Frye] has such a rich heritage in craftsmanship, so I know I'm getting a high quality shoe that's also stylish and functional for my busy lifestyle."

5. Luke Wingtip ($278)
“Wearing Frye shoes is putting my wallet where my mouth is,” says Heritage Bicycles owner Michael Salvatore, a fifth generation Chicagoan who strives to make a sense of community through his neighborhood mash-ups of bikes and coffee. “Frye is an example of an American made product that I can only hope my company, Heritage Bicycles, can aspire to be in 100 plus years.”

The Frye Company
, 1007 N. Rush St., 312.642.3793