Ron White: Interview with Canada’s Shoe GURU (A.K.A The ShoeRu)

Ron White with actress Kim Cattrall. Photo: Ron WhiteRon White with actress Kim Cattrall. Photo: Ron White

Ron White with actress Kim Cattrall. Photo: Ron White

August 25, 2014

Footwear designer Ron White‘s brand has seen substantial growth, with its wholesale volume triple what it was last year. From humble beginnings starting with a Visa cash advance as a multi-brand footwear retailer, Ron White has created an internationally acclaimed namesake footwear brand. His company’s US sales now surpass those in Canada, as new retailers continue to pick up his lines. White’s success is based on a simple concept: providing fashionable shoes that feel wonderful.  

Ron White store in Oakville, Ontario. Photo: Ron WhiteRon White store in Oakville, Ontario. Photo: Ron White

Ron White store in Oakville, Ontario. Photo: Ron White

In 1993, Ron White opened a comfort-focused multi-brand store in Toronto, called The Foot Shoppe. It grew to several locations and in 2006, Mr. White rebranded the stores to his own name, targeting a younger, more fashion forward shopper as a result. Soon after, Mr. White decided to create his own namesake footwear brand, merging his vision of chic style mixed with comfort. Ron is recognized for creating the world’s first “All Day Heels®” bringing together striking design, luxurious materials and unique cutting-edge technology. His women’s collection quickly became the store’s top seller and his collections are now carried in top retailers throughout North America with overseas expansion coming in 2015. 

Ron White has earned a loyal celebrity following that includes Hollywood’s A-list, heads of state and royal family members.  From the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards to backstage at the Primetime Emmy® Awards Ron’s shoes have been a favourite for both presenters and performers.  A few of the celebrities who have walked in his shoes include: Celine Dion, Katie Couric, The Duchess of York, Christina Hendricks, Paula Abdul, Megan Mullally, Rob Lowe, Kevin Spacey, Matt Damon and Dennis Quaid.

Ron White’s women’s collection has expanded into three separate labels. White’s first line, simply called ‘Ron White’, launched in 2007 as an elegant and sophisticated collection with shoes retailing from $295-$495.  His top-priced line, ‘Ron White Signature’ launched in 2011 and is interpreted as ‘refined chic meets equestrian grace’ with a retail tag ranging from $525 to $1195. Both of these collections are hand crafted in Italy.  His newest and most affordable line, ‘WHITE Ron White’, launched in the spring of 2013 as a playful, contemporary collection featuring the latest colours and silhouettes, with shoes retailing from $195 to $245.

After years of perfecting his men’s collection in his own stores, Ron White is now launching Men’s Footwear this month on the wholesale side, again merging his comfort technology with on-trend style. His men’s collection retails between $275 and $495 and will be showcased in leading independent and specialty stores in the USA and Canada.

The Ron White Collection for Men and Women is available online, in select Holt Renfrew locations across Canada, at Ron White stores in Toronto and in key specialty stores including Ogilvy in Montreal and O’Connors in Calgary.  The WHITE Ron White Collection is available online, in select Town Shoes locations nationwide, at Hudson’s Bay locations across Canada and in Ron White stores in Toronto.

In the United States, Ron White Men’s and Women’s Collections are available in leading independent and specialty retailers including the iconic Arthur Beren in San Francisco. This fall, White’s men’s and women’s collections will also be carried on


Today’s Retail News From Around The Web: August 25, 2014

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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