Peter Poopat and Flavio Girolami cofounded Common Projects primarily to meet their own needs for well-designed sneakers. Selfish? Maybe a little, but also visionary. When the duo started making shoes in 2004, few companies were producing sneakers that fulfilled their aesthetic requirements: minimalist design, subtle colors, and top-quality construction. With the introduction of the Common Projects Achilles sneaker, Poopat and Girolami soon realized they were onto something big — especially when their fan base expanded to include the likes of fashion-forward celebrities Kanye West and Jay-Z. The Common Projects line still features the Achilles as well as boots, high heels, and the Rec shoe — a sneaker/chukka hybrid. Every Common Projects shoe is made in Italy and features a stitched, Vulcanized rubber sole for maximum durability. Though footwear remains Common Projects’ core business, in recent years the label has begun producing handbag and accessories and also collaborated with Moscot on a line of sunglasses.