Jan 3-29, 2016 I went for the most fruitful and unforgettable trip across Europe. With a group of talented designers with various background, I visited fashion studios, concept stores, automotive factories, beer tours, local market, leather finish company and shoe design school. Here is a peek of what this trip looks like:
Being in a new environment making me motivated to sketch more, photography more and keep all my senses heightened at all time.
I became an honorable hoarder and I kept almost all the booklet, postcards, coaster, napkins, tickets, price tags etc. All these artifact adds another dimension for my visual documentation.
Using these artifact I collected, I made several collages as the first step of my shoe ideation. Without being fixated on any specific shoe shape, my collaged shoe sketches showed a various of perspective which sparks the design of orientation.
As a tease for the final shoe construction, i made a pair of simple sneakers using the pattern designed by ONEDAY SNEAKERS with additional details like rolled edges, label tag and spray painted toes. Thank you SLEM for providing me with leather, tools and beautiful studio space (…and the cutest studio puppy).
The most exciting part of this trip for me is the hands-on leather finishing experience at STAHL. I got to work with “crust” (which refer to leather that has been tanned, dyed and dried but not finished). Mixing pigment, design base coat and top coat, spay painting, embossing, foil plating…all so much fun.
By the end of it, I have more than 15 rolls of leather pieces created.
The leather I chose to work with my final shoe is the one with arrows and foil, which ties with the concept of orientation.
I was inspired by the simple, classic and yet smart European designs–not trying too hard to be eye-catching, but always make you smile when you discover the surprise, like what I found in Berlin–Bless, or the mind blowing Porcshe Musume, and lots of smart (not the new technology “smart”, just ordinary but extraordinary) houses I saw on the streets.
Also, we are giving a pair of cup soles to make only one shoe, which was very confusing at first, but I decided to have some fun with it. What’s a pair of shoes, and what is a shoe. What’s a left and what’s a right…..
And then a lot of pattern making and prototyping. I made several adjustment on every version and finally decided on the lace-up sneaker design.
And here is the final shoe(s):