Can a piece of clothing inspire a shoe, can a back pack do the same ? We all know the answer to that. And recently many brands have been having fun with it! You can go straight to the same look or keep the shoe as the forefront and influence part of it with hints from the outerwear piece. It all depends how far you want to go. We sometimes forget to get out of the world we design in and go get influences from other universe, but I find it's essential in order to stand out and not fall in the wheel.
The industry talks a lot about getting things to be greener and to use recycled resources in order to stop creating products out of raw materials. Few have done the actual move and some of them just stop after one season. But somewhere in Europe the idea of making it a business plan was slowing growing. And now it’s in a full bloom. From a idea in Emmanuel Cortez’s head to the shoes he’s now producing there was a lot of step.
He knew he had to conceive a brand that would be positive from the start. The final product is foryourearth ( pronounce like fry but no R ) a company that is reducing the carbon footprint by making many statement along the conception of their shoes. The soles are made of 50% recycled shoes that are shred and added to natural rubber and some synthetic rubber too. The upper is made of organic cotton and recycled polyester and to seal it off they use water based glue.
But it does not stop with the shoes material and conception, part of the money goes back to their industry in Vietnam and Taiwan in order to improve their workers lifestyle, a tree is planted every time a pair is sold and they work in association with Planète Urgence.
So who said great streetwear sneakers could not feel good and make the world feel good at the same time. Emmanuel Cortez is a living proof that when there is a will there is way. FYE as a great collection of high top and low top that will make you take a step further in a better world.
To all my colleague designer around the world, I hope it will plant a seed in your mind and allow you to see the future of fashion differently.
And I would like to finish this article by a saying from a great tribe from the Canadian west coast that I’m sure Cortez will agree with : We do not inherit this land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
Yeah yeah Doudoune! Here in my home town we have this saying that the blanket you use to sit in front of tv with is a Doudoune, which refers right away to comfort and cozyness. Well I present to you the Doudoune footwear for men. Women have been in these for a long time. They had the Uggs and now everyone from Cushe boots to Sorel have created a warm comfy lining inside their boots.
Men are now part of the deal. In the same vain as the native Mocassin trend and other tribal influences on footwear, Sebago and many others are offering a comfy boot or a winterized version of spring sneakers. And the fact that the design allows the lining to come out the seams, creates a visual effect of slippers filled with sherpa linning where your feet are gonna get lost and kept warm...
In order to understand the hybrid situation in shoes design I have decided to highlight the ZX 800 Casual by Adidas. Recently released with three new color combo this shoe is a perfect explanation of the mix from different background. Basically it's playing the Frankenstein game but with a better result... and this style is achieving it greatly by having this beautiful stitch that runs all the way to the back and leaving a great mocassin feel in front. The two last eyelet have been removed by those hiking hook while the rivet at the bottom part nicely repeat the metal feels. Notice that the sole too is a runner that changes completely the look that sneaker could have had with a cup sole or any other straight lined shape of sole. The rest is minimalist but the play on texture top it all nicely.
Ok a few years ago Mr.Nash decided to revise shoes by tailoring them himself. He was soon recognized and many brands now wanna get the front toe stitch that as became his signature. In the same vibe mocassin are back and the connection was easy to make. They are now boots , shoes, sneakers and many more. The front stitch are everywhere in every store form dressy to casual footwear and it would be hard to miss the boat! Lacoste is the latest to use Alex Nash for a take on the High Top boat shoes while Timberland, Sebago and many more are just happy to see their trade mark being in the spotlight. They could have played it safe but they have decided to play the game in a beautiful way with style like the cultureshoq Ronnie fieg boots.
The shoes are one thing. But the box is something else, not only it protects those amazing kicks but it also becomes a box for numerous needs and seems to hang around the house longer then the thing they were protecting. Recently a British design company HORT has designed a collection for nike that depicts every borough in a monochrome way.
Chad Muska and Supra Footwear have brought newness in the world of skate board. But more then that, they have created a style of their own that now can be recognized immediately. They have put the skytop on the map a few years ago that was soon followed by the fashion industry. In fact they kinda brought fashion into skate or vice versa. Recently surfing the wave of construction boots they stood out once again with their Supra Henri Boots. Compact and flexible they reflect well the timberland vibe but in a completely new way....A supra way.