In an industry where consumers are cautious to try anything too new/daring and generally stick within their favourite brands/styles, how do you get them to try something a little different?
This was a question we focused on quite a bit with our upcoming collection. The KUDZU slip-on is the second release from my, “Mr. Bailey” collaboration line with the German sustainable footwear brand, ekn footwear (the first being the BAMBOO Runner). This slip-on marks the first of a coming collection of footwear designed by both myself and ekn that are aimed at creating shoes that at a first look seem quite traditional, familiar and easy to wear with an outfit. However, when looking a little closer, you realise that the shoe’s are anything but ordinary.
Essentially, we wanted to create a sustainable shoe that was made in Europe but embodied characteristics of some of the more popular, techy styles currently on the market. Creating an asymmetrically wrapped, raw edge nubuck upper with zero stitching, gives the shoe a super clean look. This is basically our version of a no-sew upper. To keep the upper stitchless, a neoprene bootie was placed into the shoe. The elasticity needed to keep the shoe comfortable had to be maintained, but we didn’t want elastic sections to be stitched to the upper. The magnets were then applied to keep the bootie and nubuck snug to each other, but also allowing the bootie to be removed for cleaning or customization. For more info on the KUDZU slip-on, head to eknfootwear.com.
Below you can see some of the initial inspiration, sketches renders and final beauty shots.
Photography by: Hannah Miles
Photography by: Marek Bäuerlein
Female model: Valezka Klett