In a time where almost everything has been done before, it must be challenging for a shoe designer to come up with something that is fresh and unseen. One of the ways to do this is to create shoes with multiple materials for the upper leather. This alone, brings out an infinite array of possibilities. And while this concept has been utilized by many artisans and designers over the years, it is by far still an untapped direction of design. Obviously, with the way the world is, regarding it’s strict dress codes in work environments, it may be seen as impractical to make shoes that would not be regarded as acceptable professional footwear. Yet I would work toward the contrary: ‘Lets make more so that we can slowly start breaking the barrier to strict dress codes!’
Above is a beautiful example of a fairly conservative shoe that could easily be assimilated into the working society. That little touch of detail sets this shoe miles apart from the average, boring black shoe that finds itself looking like all the rest. Yet why don’t we see more of this??? Because people are too afraid to step out of their comfortable, little bubble and grow a pair by doing what they want and not conforming to what is acceptable. So many times have grown men came up to me (while I was wearing my teal blue shoes) and said in a soft voice so that no one would hear, “Man, I wish that I could wear those!” Shit, why can’t you? This is what I always thought. What is stopping people? Themselves mostly and secondly, society. It’s a shame, people should feel more free to dress how they want and not be judged!
This pair above is a pair of Dolce & Gabbana’s that I personally own. If you can’t tell, they consist of gray patent and blue velour, two obviously very different materials. I remember the day I purchased these. I was working on the men’s shoe floor at the Downtown Seattle Flagship Nordstrom and my coworker had called me and said, “Justin, we just received a new pair of D&G’s that you are going to want, I am going to put one aside for you.” So when I got to work, surely enough I bought my size and then sold one to my manager, my friend in the women’s shoe department and told him to sell one to his best friend. Of the five that came in I bought, sold or referred the sale of 4 of them. What’s is funny is that this always happens too. When Nordstrom bought something unique and out of the ordinary, people bought it quickly, yet we go forever without getting exciting things and constantly see the same boring stuff. I think that if more department stores took more risks with unique things, than styles would change and people would start getting more of the things that they have always wanted but never had enough guts to get. And just to point it out but not to offend anyone’s sexual orientation, the 3 other men as well as myself are all straight men. This just goes to show that the belief that certain shoes should or could only be worn by certain individuals is crap!!! This is bullshit and is not only insulting to stylish straight men but also to non-straight men.
The two shoes above are both by French shoemakers. What I love about French shoemakers, is their fearlessness to push the envelope and come out with some of the craziest shoe styles/combinations that you can imagine. And whats great about it is that they do it well and sell these new and imaginative styles to many people yet it has just not quite caught on to the mass market here in America. I only hope that as time goes on their presence will become stronger in the American market, where more and more people will wear things that set them apart from the rest. You can help start this by getting something that no one else you know has a pair of. Guaranteed, if you do this, you will get lots of compliments and feel good about being different from everyone else! Be sure to check out the links that I add on all of my posts of the makers of the shoes in my pictures. Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons!!!