When you are resourceful you can turn something unused into something useful. Mr. Renworks of Instagram did just that in this very cool upcycle shoe project he undertook with Wayman Bespoke. He recently just showcase this new model on Instagram and tagged me to the post and how it all came to be. I found it all very fascinating, not to mention clever, and of course, it helps when the shoe produced is one of immaculate caliber and design. So, let’s look at the process and story.
Mr. Renworks had an old pair of Caiman Alligator Mezlan loafers that were not getting any rotation (and for good reason) but felt that the upper’s were still in good condition and were just there wasting away. Being a huge shoe lover with some very creative taste, he decided to undertake a project with help from German shoemaker, Wayman Bespoke, in order to reimagine his exotic leather into another shoe worthy of such a fine skin. Wanting to make a derby of sorts, he decided to pay homage to Ken Kataoka (2nd place in World Championship Bespoke Shoemaking) and go for a very cool 1-eyelet derby with a unique saddle style side panel that Ken had made a little while ago (see below). I think that it was a very wise choice and honestly what attracted me to this whole project. I really love the simple yet striking nature of the saddle piece, a triangle shape essentially, which I never thought would fit into a shoe’s pattern, at least in an aesthetically pleasing way. But it does. And it does well!
So, Mr. Renworks disassembled his own shoes (see pic above) and then sent the uppers to Wayman Bespoke’s workshop in Shanghai whereby they recut the leather to obtain the side panels. Once done, they constructed this beautiful 1 eyelet derby with this unique antiqued look in what looks like grey/black/white etc. The shoe is breathtaking and I bet it has to feel great to be able to take something that was wasting away and turn it into a new beautiful creation that can get a ton of wear. And while this of course took some new investment, Mr. Renworks was at least able to save on the most expensive part of these which were the Cayman side panels that would have easily 3x-4x times the price of the shoe. The project was long and tedious due to all of the issues of the world today but in the end, I bet he feels more than happy to have his new creation. By all means, it was a smart and creative project that I think makes a lot of sense in this day and age of consumption. Recycling is great, but upcycling is even better!
So, if you have some pairs sitting around with some unique material/skin that you do not find yourself using anymore, send them to Wayman bespoke for a makeover and get some new life out of your wasted material!
Mr. Renworks – https://www.instagram.com/mr.renworks/?hl=en
Wayman Bespoke – https://www.waymanbespoke.com/
Ken Kataoka – https://www.instagram.com/ken_kataoka/?hl=en