KOLYR Kicks: Students Create UM-Inspired Orange and Green Vegan Sneakers

If you want to wow the crowd with superfan gear at Hurricanes' games, you've gotta go a little further than your standard jerseys, coozies, and car flags. Enter KOLYR and the company's custom 'Canes kicks.

The crew's orange and green creations are tributes to our local team talent. If their Kickstarter campaign takes off, soon we'll all be able to buy flexible, fashionable, vegan footwear inspired by our own Ibis extraordinaire.

The company was founded by three bonafide 'Canes -- UM business school students Alex Shapiro, Whitney Kimmel, and Tes Michan. They placed in the school's annual business plan competition, then went on to bring their idea to fruition. ("Kolyr," btw, is pronounced "co-leer," aka, color with a "K," and it's actually the Yiddish word for color.)

See also: Six Signs You're a True Canes Fan

These colorful kicks will retail for $65 a pair. Assuming they make their fundraising goal, the first round of sneakers will ship in March 2014. In spring 2015, they expect to start expanding to other universities.

"By tapping resources we have access to while enrolled at the business school, we were able to partner with a manufacturing company in China who has worked with us to choose materials that are all cruelty-free," says Marketing Director Whitney Kimmel.

"We use vintage fabric for the interior of the shoe and a breathable nylon blend for the body with vegan, faux-leather accents. The shoes are extremely lightweight and flexible," she adds.

So far, they've raised $4,242 of their $10,000 goal, with a total of four supporters. Not too shabby! People who pony up funds can score everything from colorful shoelaces ($10 or more) to four pairs of KOLYRS, t-shirts and assistance with shoe naming rights ($1,000 or more).

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And once they get off the ground, they'll be recruiting Brand Ambassadors -- primarily students -- who'll sell the shoes at sporting events and other community affairs.

"Once we have fully funded our project through Kickstarter, our website will have a large, interactive social component. Each Brand Ambassador will encourage fans to show off their shoes, take pictures with the school's mascot and get involved with their community and then help them upload pictures, videos or quotes to our site," Kimmel adds. "Since football season will be the perfect time for this, we wanted to introduce the shoes this year in time for March Madness to build excitement then launch the social elements next football season and expand to additional locations following a similar timeline."

Also, 5 percent of proceeds will be donated back to UM, the crew says.

So if you want to be seen wearing this Canes-inspired footwear come next season's kickoff, better donate to their Kickstarter ASAP. Hell, you could be one of the first to sport these kicks.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac