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Allbirds

Joey Zwillinger turned a pair of shoes into a Silicon Valley touchstone

Zwillinger is No. 39 on the Recode 100.

A year ago, Allbirds was a pair of wool shoes designed by a New Zealander. Not something you’d peg as a fashion statement.

Now here we are: Allbirds are what you wear if you work in Silicon Valley or the New York tech scene. They’re so omnipresent that The Gray Lady has taken notice.

Co-founder Joey Zwillinger is trying to make the shoes even more popular, by raising $18 million and putting the online retailer in physical storefronts in San Francisco and New York. Expect more brick-and-mortar stores in 2018 — along with pressure to prove that the company can do more than outfit the tech set.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.