Since 2008 hard graft has been making fine leather and felt goods, ranging from bags to iPad cases. They’ve continually upped their game every year, rethinking their concepts and pushing the boundaries of their design thinking. Last week though, they may have outdone themselves.
Quite a while back we set out to find the right Italian workshop that shares our ethos in crafting limited shoes by hand. Cobbling them together with pride, bit by bit. It’s fair to say our search was quite a bumpy ride – bigger factories turned us down instantly and small artisan workshops that were up for the challenge where extremely hard to find. But, hands down we have found the perfect match and here’s the first results of our ideas.
It seems to me that hard graft is making a natural transition from bag making to shoe cobbling. They have such a strong design language which beautifully translates to the world of footwear. My personal favorite of the bunch, there are three models which come in two colors, are the Men’s Hight Boot in all grey. It’s amazing how much the boot looks like one of their bags, with the leather body and the touch of felt on the back of the ankle. It’s a manly, sexy boot that looks timeless.
This is a huge jump for hard graft. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next.
The first ever basketball shoe to feature Nike Air-Sole units for cushioning, the AF1 was originally released in 1982. Thirty years after its birth, the footwear icon is modernized with a reflective upper to celebrate the medal stand look. Inscribed on the left and right foot insole reads “land of the free,” and “home of the brave” respectively.
I got to wear these in yesterday and they’re pretty awesome. The first thing I noticed was the reflective material on the top… or maybe you don’t. There’s this subtlety to the material, which only in specific lighting the shoes appear to glow, it’s really fantastic. When I think about the future, it’s subtleties like that which come to mind. It’s not like you’re wearing dorky, glowing shoes, these are well thought out pieces of design which sit on your feet.
The other thing that really stood out to me is the transparent sole which makes them even cooler, in my mind. It gives the shoe a lightness, almost like you’re walking on air or light. Thankfully though there are no LEDs in the bottom of the shoe, making it look like you’re a grown-up toddler.
The shoes are being released today in the UK and I think around Europe, and then released here in the U.S. next week.
For some reason I’ve been on this crazy, futuristic, black everything kick, and I think these shoes are to blame. They’re made by an Italian company called Casbia who are doing some interesting shoe design. I think there’s a really unique blend of both futuristitic and heritage elements that makes these kind of amazing. Somehting about the use of the mesh that wraps around the body combined with the leather laces and details is really interesting and work together surprisingly well. And that cut in the rubber around the sole of the shoe is a nice touch, not too heavy-handed but gives it a bit of style. Want.
Found through Hypebeast
This past Friday, Nike launched #BETRUE, a series of shoes commemorating Pride month. The three pairs of shoes in the series are inspired by three different cities with robust gay communities: NYC, San Francisco and Portland. As each of the three cities are quite different, the pairs of shoes have their own personality, too: the New York shoe is more tailored and fashionable while the San Francisco is a bit more edgy (think black leather) while Portland is something completely different. If you want a pair of the shoes, you’ll have to make a pilgrimage to one of these three cities pick them up; each is only sold in its respective city.
While the designs of the shoes are pretty slick (you can see a video of some sort of launch party where the shoes’ designer, Shawn Ormsby, is introduced and says a sentence about the shoes) the #BETRUE shoes are just one aspect of Nike’s commitment to visibility and Pride. On the same day that the shoes launched, Nike hosted the first global summit focused on eliminating anti-LGBT discrimination from sports. That’s a pretty big step in the right direction.
P.S. The #BETRUE slogan is not new for Nike. Sans hashtag Be True was the original Nike Dunks campaign slogan in 1985, the first time team colors were used in collegiate footwear.
I would never dare to say that I’m some kind of expert on shoes, but I know when they catch my eye. Take the Y-3 Sly from Yohij Yamamato, which aren’t a show or a sandal, they’re a shandal. Now think outside the box with me a for a bit on this one. We rarely see a new type of footwear appear, unless it’s some sort of horrible anomaly like the Shape-Up. So I think it’s exciting that Yohji has managed to craft something that’s just slightly off from the norm, that’s not quite a full show but neither a sandal.
It seems to me like it’s a pretty high tech looking shoe. I’m not sure if just anyone could rock these, but I’d certainly be willing to try. I don’t wear socks anyhow, so this actually might be better for me. Though at around $300, I’m not sure I’d be willing to try.
Over the last few months I’ve become a big fan of Tom Sachs. If you’re not familiar you could describe him as an artist, a jack-of-all-trades, a thinker and a dreamer. You could also read his Wikipedia page to get the full rundown, it’s a good read. Tomorrow night he’s opening up a show called SPACE PROGRAM: MARS which seems pretty rad.
Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.
At the same time he’s got this amazing collaboration with Nike called Tom Sachs: NIKECraft. The collab features an eclectic range of products – The Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, The Marsfly Jacket, and the Lightweight Tote.
Nike design and Sachs applied materials that have never been used in sportswear, taken from automotive air bags, mainsails for boats and the space suit itself. Each piece is packed with functionality that would prove useful in the voyage through space. Zipper pulls that double as storage containers, paracord that can be fashioned as a tourniquet and embellishments like the periodic table of elements screened on the inside of a jacket – they all merge visual interest with purpose.
To say I want this whole collection would be an understatement. How cool would it be to walk around in space shoes?
When I think about footwear technology, I really don’t think of any other brands than Nike. Reebok is doing that bizarre toothpaste squiggle which looks horrible, and other then that I draw a blank. Then I came across these new shoes from Adidas adiPure line simply called Adapt. They strike upon the newfound success of the barefoot run, trying to better simulate running without shoes on like our cavemen forefathers did.
The Adapt are extremely simple looking, mostly an upper piece with a firm but flexible sole. I think they look really cool, I’d totally want to try a pair of these on. My biggest beef with running shoes is that they’re too sturdy and structured. I’m glad to see Adidas get into the technology side of footwear, hopefully this starts driving more competition in the market.
Found through Hypebeast
I spotted this shoes on Jeff Staple’s Instagram and I had to do some digging on them. Turns out they’re from White Mountaineering Spring/Summer 2012 collection of sneakers, and I’m kind of in love. They’re ridiculous, which is why I like ’em so much. I really like the pair in back a lot, they’d be good for summer.