It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! If you’re following on my Snapchat, then you watched it all unfold in the blink of an eye… my very first immersive shoe giveaway experience with AT&T and TOMS in Colombia by way of the Santa Monica Pier. Yes, we traveled to Colombia via the magical powers of VR to experience the joy of giving away my favorite thing in this world, shoes! And let me tell you just what an incredible experience it was!

Last Saturday’s extravaganza and activation started off, literally, in one massive TOMS shoebox at the end of Route 66 on the Santa Monica Pier. And no, giant size TOMS shoes were not included in this house size shoebox. Instead, there was an immersive storytelling experience that opened up guests’ eyes to the precious work that AT&T and TOMS are doing together around the world.

The “Walk in Their Shoes” virtual reality experience that AT&T dreamt up was nothing short of spectacular. AT&T has been powering (and empowering) TOMS to grow their widespread network, and subsequently their business for the last 10 years. In today’s world, technology is one of the biggest ways companies can grow brand awareness. Personally, technology has been such a fundamental player in the work I do each and everyday. It allows me to reach international audiences, connect with artists and designers all over the world who I may not have had the opportunity to meet, and allows me to work anywhere on the planet at a moment’s notice. With all of this incredible technology at their fingertips, its no wonder AT&T has taken everything to new heights.

In addition to the VR experience, I loved learning that there are so many different kinds of shoes that are given away (heels not included). Although it makes total sense now, I had always envisioned the simple canvas shoes. However, there are actually over five different styles offered to these kids depending on where they live in the world. Children in colder climates receive boots, wet environments receive waterproof sandals, and hot, dry climates receive sneakers. There is a tremendous amount of thought that goes into making sure that millions of children around the world have what they need – and that they’re also comfortable. It’s truly refreshing and so reassuring to feel a part of a cause that has such deep-rooted beliefs in corporate responsibility.

I joke about heels, but in all seriousness, it’s easy to get lost in our magical world of fashion and equally important to check in with activities that you can get involved with in your community to help give back to others that might not be as fortunate. Shoes mean so many different things to so many different people. Something as symbolic as the “heel” to some (including myself) means the difference of whether or not a child in Colombia might be able to walk to school.

While the event came and went, you can still experience “A Walk in Their Shoes” via 360 on AT&T’s YouTube Channel. Even better? 100K boxes of shoes purchased from TOMS online will include a cardboard viewer that when put over your phone, activates that experience as well!

Photos by Tori Ashton 

Thank you, AT&T for sponsoring this post.