Has there even been a pair of shoes whose design were inspired by ceramics? Not to my knowledge, and that’s what makes this collaboration between Los Angeles ceramicist Ben Medansky and New York shoe brand Koio so remarkable. Medansky is well-known for his bold ceramics, which feature speckled glazes and pops of Yves Klein blues, odd, geometric clusters, and repetition of angular shapes.
Applying those same principles to a pair of sneakers sounds challenging, but the resulting outcome couldn’t have turned out more perfect. What catches your eyes first is obviously the cobalt blue sole of the shoe, which is such a stunning color. Complimenting it is the speckled leather uppers which bring a nice balance to the shoe, as it would be in Medansky’s ceramic works.
“The speckle on the leather was appropriated from the clay body I use that has a high iron content. I also wanted to create something that I had not seen before which led me to the ceramic accent on the laces that I call shoellery, like jewellery for the shoe.”
I think the “shoellery” is such a fun, quirky detail. In a time of Off-White zip ties it’s refreshing to see a natural material being integrated into a shoe like this. All in all it’s an unusual but beautifully executed collaboration. You can snag a pair of these for yourself by clicking here.
As a design-y guy my shoe collection tends to lean toward the eclectic. For me the most standout shoes I own would be my Nike Flyknits with their variegated patterns and unusual construction. Yet without fail the pair of shoes that receive the most compliments and remarks are these beautiful shoes by Singh And Son, an updated version of a classic slip-on that has been around for decades in India.
These shoes are named and modeled after a traditional sailing vessel, the Kishtee. They’re also built sturdily like a boat, featuring leather tops that come in a black, brown, midnight blue, or oxblood red, and natural leather soles that age extremely beautifully. I believe it’s the simplicity in form yet richness in material that make these shoes shine brighter than the rest. They also happen to be perfect for a city like LA where we have sunny, amazing weather 95% of the time.
Snag a pair for yourself or a loved one in the Singh and Son shop.
I’m a big fan of high tops, but I’ve never been a Chuck Taylor kind of guy. There’s nothing wrong with a good pair of Chuck’s, they’re probably the most iconic American shoe around, they simply haven’t been my style. That said, there’s an exception to every rule, and these new 1970 HI ‘Woven Textile’ sneakers caught my attention immediately.
I love the loose knit, multi-colored, chunky yarn that envelopes the shoe. It’s an effect that could really go wrong or look quite tacky. It was smart for the designers to go with more muted yarns and only blending in a subtle bit of color, which pairs quite well with the vegetable tanned leather, creating an overall sophisticated, bohemian touch.
They’re not for everyone, and that’s why they’re so great. You can grab a pair for yourself (they’re unisex!) over on Bows & Arrows.
We’re in an age of great footwear design and shoe technology has come so far in the last 30 years. That said, it’s always great to see interesting materials applied to shoes and these cork covered Vans are currently at the top of my wish list. They’re a part of Vans OTW Summer 2014 and they’re certain to catch people’s eyes. Love the detail of the speckled mid-sole that separates the cork from the sole, a well-considered touch. The sad part is I can’t figure out where to buy them yet, but you can keep an eye on the Vans OTW site in case they pop-up.
One of my favourite showcases of this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was that of NYC based artist, Sebastian Errazuriz, titled 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers. Utilizing 3D printing, Errazuriz went about fashioning a series of wildly imaginative shoes, inspired by the failed romantic relationships of his past. The passions of the heart have given way to timeless creativity, and Errazuriz has managed to hone his heartbreak to follow suit. There’s something for everyone in this offering—whether it be the fashion, the design, the tech, the writing, or the photography. If none of that, Errazuriz manages to at least captivate with something we can all relate to: love and heartbreak.
Finding uniquely designed shoes which are also well made is rare these days. But Velt, the debut footwear line from Stefan Rechsteiner and Patrick Rüegg, hits that nail squarely on the head, producing a small collection of leather boots which seamlessly blend contemporary design with age-old techniques.
Velt is a footwear label designed by Stefan Rechsteiner and Patrick Rüegg that explores the possibilities of new, contemporary shoe design produced using classic methods. Its success is based on a creative idea and conceptual dialogue that allows the appropriate results to be accomplished with conventional materials.
I love a good collaboration, especially when they’re two of my favorite brands. This is a beautiful partnership between contemporary footwear makers Clae and clotheswear designers Steven Alan who’ve created the Strayhorn Vibram Hiker, a very modern take on the hiking boot silhouette.
Native Shoes, maker of comfy, bright colored slip-ons, has teamed up with L.A. based photographer Stephanie Gonot to shoot their spring/summer 2014 catalog and the results are beautiful.