In the world of fashion entrepreneurship, Tieks CEO Kfir Gavrieli stands out for his visionary leadership. As head of the beloved ballet flat brand Tieks, Gavrieli has shown how business success can fuel world-changing philanthropy. His innovative approach has cemented his status as an inspirational leader and entrepreneur in the fashion industry.
Gavrieli’s disruptive vision is visible in how he operates Tieks as an online-only enterprise. When Tieks launched in 2008, e-commerce fashion brands were rare. But he recognized the potential to form “a direct relationship with customers instead of one mediated by department stores and boutiques and specialty stores. We got direct feedback from customers, so we developed a customer service department. In the early days, we were thinking more about what it would take to survive, and over time we discovered all these benefits.”
To attract customers, Kfir Gavrieli focused on “testing various social media platforms.” This digital-first strategy was bold, but his gamble paid off. Tieks styles began to sell out quickly and soon amassed waitlists. Limited editions became coveted and created a resale market.
Kfir Gavrieli: Beyond E-Commerce
Beyond just e-commerce, Gavrieli instilled innovation into Tieks’ product design. Cushioned backs and a unique split-sole design provide unmatched comfort, allowing women to walk for miles. The ability to fold the flats into a purse or suitcase optimizes portability. The premium Italian leather construction, on-trend colors, and prints bring the utmost style.
This fusion of online sales, comfort technology, and stylish versatility quickly made Tieks wildly popular. Tieks earned accolades like a Forbes Most Innovative Consumer Brands award. However, for Gavrieli, real victory meant uplifting others through Tieks’ success.
The CEO pioneered a new philanthropic strategy by becoming the largest lender to the micro-lending platform Kiva. Gavrieli has funded over $10 million in micro-grants, supporting nearly 60,000 female entrepreneurs across 70-plus countries by providing small business loans.
His charitable organization, the Gavrieli Foundation, noted, “Dreams are universal. Opportunity is not. Through Kiva, we support women entrepreneurs living in poverty around the world. Rather than providing material goods or cash to buy them, our contributions empower women to start and grow their businesses. These businesses become reliable sources of income and create independence and opportunity for these women, their families, and their communities. We believe this approach to be the most comprehensive, sustainable, and scalable solution to global poverty.”
Kfir Gavrieli’s Charitable Focus
Gavrieli’s unique approach of tying philanthropic giving to Tieks’ brand identity has positioned the company as a leader in socially-conscious fashion. Tieks doesn’t just sell stylish flats — its charitable focus inspires deep loyalty among customers. Fans view buying Tieks as supporting the brand’s mission of advancing underserved women. This fuels the brand’s vibrant online community and intense demand for new releases.
By strongly linking Tieks’ identity with uplifting women, Gavrieli has crafted a brand halo effect. Consumers perceive Tieks as a company that does good, thereby increasing affinity. This positive brand association in turn drives sales and loyalty.
The latest Tieks’ initiatives spearheaded by Kfir Gavrieli include a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees that raised almost $90,000, about which he said, “We couldn’t be happier with the results.
“I am proud of the Tieks community for its dedication to supporting and protecting populations in need, whether front-line health care workers, educators, Ukrainian refugees, or individual members of the group.”
More recently, in the wake of the devastating Hamas attacks in Israel, he led Tieks Against Antisemitism and Tieks for Israel.
As the popularity of his chic footwear line grows, so does his ambition to be a charitable light in the world.
“Through business, you can have impact rather than just make money and give it away later in life,” Kfir Gavrieli told eJewish Philanthropy. “Through commerce, you can create change. This model of integrating social impact with the business is newer.”