The Ave Venice x Arm The Animals!

Posted on September 14 2013


The Ave Venice is thrilled to announce our latest collaboration with Arm The Animals, a charitable clothing company located in Pasadena, CA. We had a chance to sit down with Matt, one of the co-founders, to give us a little background and provide some insight into this unique company and the awesome shoes we've had the pleasure of creating with them.

Can you give us a brief background on the company- where are you located, who is involved?
ATA is located in Arcadia, CA and we live in Pasadena. The company was originally started by Myself (Matt Heinemeyer) and my longtime friend Danian Rios in 2010 and we have since added about 5 additional people to our team and we have an office location where we all work full time. Everyone involved with the company is a true believer and they all want to come to work and help ATA grow in any way they can. It’s amazing to see a group of dedicated people come together and work toward a common goal.

How did you come up with the idea of Arm the Animals? What is the story behind it?
Animals have played a big part in my life. Growing up, my family had dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. and I was born into that directly, so from day one – animals were family. My older sister Karen was a huge animal welfare advocate and literally spent her whole life saving, helping, and fostering unwanted animals. In 2008, she passed away from a heart condition, and I felt fully compelled to do something to continue her good works and memory, but I wasn’t sure how… One day, the term “Arm The Animals” hit me like a bolt, so I looked it up online and nobody had ever registered it or used it – so I bought the URL and was off!

Who is making the awesome artwork that is featured on the shoes? What is their inspiration when it comes to design?
Up to this point, I have done all of the art, but we have started using additional artists to help expand our horizons. We recently SCORED BIG and landed an artist named Franz Garcia. He is with us 3 days a week now and he made the actual shoe design. He took my original design of the Cat with the grenade and put his touch to it, making the shoes what they are today. He’s an INCREDIBLY talented artist/illustrator and he is helping us get to the next level! We all talk about our favorite animals and design ideas, then we experiment to see if something is going to actually work as a design. Most of the designs start with a name – believe it or not – and we then create the image around the name. So far it has worked and we’re starting to get a lot better at the process.

Is this your first time having your brand on shoes? Was it strange to design graphics to go on a 3D item?
This is the first time we have had a design on shoes and it was a bit of a challenge, but it wasn’t too difficult. As long as you have good image templates to place the art upon, you can get a pretty clear picture of how it’s all going to work out.

If you could arm any animal with any weapon, what would you choose?
My favorite is the Dear Hunter concept we have: It’s a white tailed deer with hunting rifle for antlers and if that was the case, I suspect hunting deer would not be so popular. For millennia, we were in danger of dying every time we hunted game; now because of technology, you can actually shoot at animals online via web cam and automated rifles?! I mean come on… really?! Be sure to watch for the new Arm The Animals Fall 2013 Collection dropping within the next week- featuring lots of amazing new ATA designs. Check out this sneak preview:


Want to see our Arm the Animals Vans? Click here!

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