Hamilton slips into sandal design

LIHUE — Kauai professional surfer Bethany Hamilton teamed up with Cobian to design a limited edition signature sandal, which will be launched by Island Sole next week on Oahu.

“I love being an ambassador of Cobian and the positive message that Cobian likes to share, plus their sandals are cute and comfy,” Hamilton said in a press release. “I live in sandals, so it’s fun to be able to share a little bit of what I like to wear in my daily life.”

The Bethany Hamilton Limited Edition Signature Sandals by Cobian feature a comfortable braided strap, a clear outsole with a photo of Hamilton and an inspirational quote, and Hamilton’s signature Hawaiian flower metal strap pin, according to the release.

On Nov. 18, she will share a sneak preview of her new signature sandal with fans and autograph posters at the Island Sole store at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Fans will be able to pre-order the limited edition sandals at Ala Moana’s Island Sole store. During the event, any purchase of a Cobian product, including pre-orders, will include a free DVD of “Heart of a Soul Surfer: The Bethany Hamilton Story.”

“In collaborating with Bethany on the design of these limited edition signature sandals, Cobian is able to share Bethany’s inspiring story as a shark attack survivor, and her message to others that through faith, one can overcome anything,” said Aimee Bradley, a designer for Cobian.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this signature sandal will benefit Friends of Bethany, a nonprofit organization supporting shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees, Bradley said.

“Bethany is a great role model for values Island Sole cares so much about,” said Lon Miyaguchi, vice president of operations at Island Sole. “She’s resilient, kind, and creative, and her story really resonates with our customers here in Hawaii.”

After losing her left arm during a shark attack in 2003 when she was only 13 years old, the surf prodigy was back in the water a month later.

Hamilton would become a role model and source of inspiration to fans from all over the world.

In 2007, director Becky Baumgartner released the documentary “Heart of a Soul Surfer,” describing how Hamilton found God and beat all odds by winning the 2005 NSSA National Surfing Championship. She would later become a professional surfer, and to this day she still competes.

Hamilton’s story was later picked up by Hollywood and turned into a blockbuster movie in 2011, “Soul Surfer.”

The locally owned Island Sole first opened on Oahu in 2011 and has since expanded to include six locations on Oahu, one on Maui and one in Newport Beach, Calif.

Visit www.friendsofbethany.com and www.islandsole.com for more information.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or lazambuja@thegardenisland.com


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