Monday, December 12, 2016

The origins of the deubré

If you are a certain age, Thingummyjig (1976–83) was a Scottish Television program showcasing the best in haggis, heather and tartan talent. The program was hosted by the acerbic, Jack McLaughlin (aka “The Laird o’ Coocaddens”). The origins of the term ‘thingamajig’ (n), in its many spellings, remain unclear but may stem from Middle English ‘thing’, derived from Old English þing, from Proto-Germanic *þingą. The word originally meant "assembly", then came to mean a specific issue discussed at such an assembly, and ultimately came to mean most broadly "an object". Thingamajig appears in the English language around 1824, but is predated by thingumbob (1751), and thingummy (1796). Synonyms include: dohickey, doohickey, doodad, doover (Australia), doomaflatchy, gizwiz, kadigan, thingamabob, thingumabob, thingummybob, thingo (Australia), thingummy, whatchamahoozie, whatnot, whatsit, and whatchamacallit. Something whose name has been forgotten or is not known.. The earliest recorded variant of ‘whatchamacallit’ is what-calle-ye-hym, attested from late 15c. A modern equivalent, origin unknown, is the Scottish term ‘doobrie,’ meaning something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known; a thingy or whatsit. < br>

The collective name for given to these words is placeholders which typically function grammatically as nouns and can be used for people, objects, locations, or places. Most are documented in at least 19th century literature.

In 1994, Damon Clegg, a Nike footwear designer, when presenting features of his design for a Nike ACG boot, and when he came to describe the ornamental shoelace tag, (which lacked a name). he instinctively used the term ‘doobrie.’ Clegg had heard his college roommate use the placename when he was unable to remember a specific name. His college friend was from Glasgow. The audience took the term ‘doobrie’ for a technical term, and the word caught on. Over time, the pronunciation evolved to doo-bray with various spellings. Eventually with the publication of a catalogue for the Nike Air Force 1 in 2006, Nike introduced the "deubré".

The deubré has two holes through which the shoelace is threaded, like a bead on string. When the shoe is laced, the deubré is centered between the first two eyelets (closest to the toe), with the shoelace passing through and behind the deubré. A deubré is typically made of metal, plastic, or leather, and may be decorated with a logo or text. Sometimes the deubré acts as a lace lock, eliminating the need for tying. A deubré may be used on a dress shoe or an athletic shoe.

Hi-Tec Navigator. The latest in walking technology.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Acne's fashion sandal withdrawn

After it was discovered luxury fashion house based Acne Studio's was selling £US400 "African inspired" sandals which are virtually identical in design to those made by The Shoe That Grows, (a US based non-profit organisation), the Swedish company denied copying the charity's design but has withdrawn the shoe from sale.

Now fashion experts are calling on Acne to "stand up for its values" by donating a portion of its profits to The Shoe That Grows, according to Tamsin Lejeune, ‎chief executive at the Ethical Fashion Forum .

The Shoe That Grows's footwear was launched in 2013 and is a durable, adjustable sandal that can expand up to five shoe sizes. The US-based company has made thousands of pairs available to children via charitable donations, as well as selling their shoes to the public, with each pair bought online paying for two further pairs to be donated to children living in poverty around the world.

Ludi's Story from Because International on Vimeo.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dorothy’s ruby slippers gets a Kickstart

To help fund the repair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, worn by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the Smithsonian Institution went to Kickstarter crowdfunding for help for the tentatively-titled On With The Show exhibition, opening in 2018.

The “world’s largest museum and research complex” receives federal assistance to support core functions such as, safeguarding its collections, building operations and maintenance, and staffing. But it also relies on private donations to support many other priorities, including the conservation and exhibition of precious objects like the Ruby Slippers. The ruby slipper project has now been fully funded, and a “stretch goal” of an additional $85,000 had been set to preserve the Scarecrow’s costume for the same exhibition.

The Smithsonian Institution previously funded a project to preserve the original spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong and Alan Shepard during their space missions in the 1960s. The project will prepare the suits for display during a major exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Read more about Dorothy's Slippers
Dorothy's red slippers: The most iconic shoes in Hollywood's history

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Evening athleisure shoes

As American fashion has become more casual sneakers have been elevated as high-end status symbols. Mainstream designers are now designing upscale sneakers to be worn on the fashion catwalks. With prices like $495 for a pair of cap-toe Lanvins to $895 for studded Valentinos these have become the preserve of the must have bella figure. Upscale sneakers are designed to go with slim jeans, tailored dress pants and the stylish suit.

For women, pairing fashionable sneakers into businesswear and formal attire, has been a challenge for designers. But where there is a market there is a way and high fashion sneakers are being sold to women from $695 high-tops by Isabel Marant to $990 crystal-encrusted Gucci slip-ons.

Comfortable rubber soled canvas topped kicks are also proving popular with brides and for $60, you can buy a pair of monogrammed Keds from their wedding collection .

Friday, September 16, 2016

Shoes and chocolate:Cacao & Cardamom has the answer

Cacao & Cardamom in Houston, Texas have the perfect sweet treat for the shoe lover: Christian Louboutin chocolate heels. Made from special molds the most complex part of the process was the red soles. The chocolate shoes have become a big favorite with their customers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shoes: How to judge character

You Can Judge 90 Percent of a Stranger's Personal Characteristics Just by Looking at Their Shoes: You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say.

The Pensole Footwear Design Academy, Portland, Oregon

In 2010, former design director D'wayne Edwards of Brand Jordan started the Pensole Footwear Design Academy based in Portland, Oregon, offering intensive courses in shoe design taught by people who have worked at companies such as Nike and Adidas. Classes are usually three or four weeks long and cram in what a student might learn over the course of a full college semester. Students learn to do consumer research, study materials, and prototype design. The school invites applications from young people who want to pursue careers in the shoe industry but don't have the basic training to get started. There are 18 places each year with 850 applications.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kenzo World Advert: Bespoke shoes do the trick

Heidi Bivens designed the bespoke shoes for the new perfume advert for Kenzo World . She also customized a flat version for its final scene, in which Margaret Qualley hops and jumps before performing a spectacular aerial maneuver. The designer tried different heel heights and ended up with 2.5 inches based on the dancer's comfort. The shoes were made with suede soles, and others with rubber soles so that she had options to dance in depending on the [carpet or marble] surface. The video is directed by Spike Jonze and choreography by Ryan Heffington.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The virtual fitting service " Flickfit "

Tokyo-based Flickfit hope to improve shoe comfort with in-shoe scanners and pressure sensors to take readings of your feet. The 3D technology produces a wire-frame image of your feet is synced with either a tablet, smartphone or laptop.

Using this template, the key areas of comfort are highlighted in a "heat map" and the dimensions of shoes with the most comfortable fit are noted. Flickfit's technology is currently available at only one location in Tokyo ahead of its official release. The company is working at bringing the tech to department stores across Japan and plans are afoot (sorry for the pun) to make the technology available to online shopping.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Marion Parke: Shoe designer and former podiatrist

Marion Parke is a shoe designer and former [podiatrist determined to fill a niche in the market for "wearable" luxury heels. The former foot doctor and has called upon her years of experience practicing as a podiatric surgeon to create anatomically correct luxury high heeled shoes (her heels are never designed over 85mm or 3,3"). According to the designer, her Italian made shoes support the human foot.

Parke claims her knowledge of the anatomical structure, and function of the human foot gives her a distinct advantage over her rivals when it comes to designing her stylish footwear range. She incorporates subtle tilts and wedges into the shoe in-socks which help stabilise the elevated foot.

Marion Parke’s SS16 collection proved very successful with the fashionista and, she hopes her new collection, SS 17, will have the same impact.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Redneck Boot Sandals

Redneck Boot Sandals are traditional cowboy boots carved and redesigned like a sandal with a toe post and straps.

The boots started as a joke when former deputy sheriff, Scotty Franklin, decided to marry cowboy boots with flip flops in 2012. Using his pocketknife, he carved his first pair of boot sandals on a pair of old boots. Walking around Springfield, Mo he not only met with admiring glances but people offered to buy his boots. So he decided to go into business, working in his garage and using only “basic tools”. At first Franklin worked on a design process taking commissions. Soon the business was so successful he was able to buy a leather sewing machine and other professional tools. He continues to do most of the initial cutting at home and outsources jobs to two local cobblers.

Since the beginning of this year he has fulfilled 1,000 orders and employs a total of eight staff. Orders are placed through the brand’s website and customers ship their own boots for the remanufacturing services, which cost $75, plus $25 for shipping and handling in the continental U.S. To date Texas is where demand for the cowboy-boot-sandals is highest but orders for the novelty Americana footwear come from all over the world. The Redneck Boot Company supports a local charity and donates to Isabel’s House , in Springfield, for child abuse and neglect.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Roger Vivier: Icons Connected Travelling Exhibition Dubai

The Roger Vivier “Icons Connected” travelling exhibition starts on the 3rd of May and runs till the 14th of May 2016, at the main mall, Dubai Mall. Ines de la Fressange will grace guests with a much-wanted personal appearance. The travelling exhibition celebrates the evolution from a carriage trade shoe brand to a high-end Parisian luxury accessories brand. On display are vintage signature heels from the 1930’s combined with sketches by Bruno Frisoni of Maison Roger Vivier’s contemporary styles and images of A-listers wearing Vivier, such as Cate Blanchett and, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson.

When Christian Dior launched a range of footwear in 1953, Vivier was the craftsman behind the pieces, and ten years later, the Vivier brand was launched.

Roger Vivier sandal designed the sandals worn by Queen Elizabeth II wore for her coronation in 1953. The gold kidskin sandals were studded with rubies.

The Virgule heel (or comma heel) was created in 1963, and then in 1967 Vivier put Bardot in boots.

His most iconic design was the Pilgrim pumps with silver buckles (worn by Catherine Deneuve in the film Belle de Jour) and received international publicity and many imitations.

All these and much. much more can be seen at The Roger Vivier “Icons Connected” travelling exhibition, entry free and run in partnership with Al Tayer Group.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Freeman Quarter Jogger shoes

The Freeman Quarter Jogger shoes are part of the brand's Spring 2016. The new athleisure kicks on the block are a blend of two different shoe styles respectively, i,e, casual loafer, yet formal enough for office wear.

The slip on shoes are crafted from Mastrotto suede and Nappa calf skin upper combined with a sporty sole to make it comfortable for extended wear. Freeman Quarter Jogger shoes contain a welted EVA midsole and a Sousa & Fernandes leather outsole.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jean-Jacques Houyou : Fish leather espadrilles

Jean-Jacques Houyou is a French shoe manufacturer with a range of women’s stack-heeled sandals for sale. Nothing fishy there but when you know these fashionable espadrilles are made from the skins of salmon trout, then this might cast a completely new line.

Available in seven colours they go on sale in France this summer, selling for about €120 (S$180) a pair. Matching the skins of the factory farmed fish is an exacting process with every pair of the handmade shoes unique. The luxury footgear is lined with goat skin and soled in cork. Jean-Jacques Houyou has previously made Japanese-style sandals with salmon skin at his small factory in Mauleon, the centre of France's espadrille industry.

Fish-skin boots have been worn for thousands of years by the Inuits and Icelanders boiled and ate their worn out fish skin footwear. Distance was based on the number of shoes it took to travel long distances. During World War II fish-skin shoes were common in Germany when cow leather was unavailable. More recently Manolo Blahnik used tilapia fish leather in his €800-a-pair eco sandal range.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The BioKnit shoe: Ammo Liao

Designer, Ammo Liao has created a shoe which uses “textile biomimicry,” i.e. a single material manipulated to provide multiple functions including varying levels of softness, strength, and flexibility in a layering process.

The BioKnit shoe was inspired by biomimicry(to synthetically replicate nature) and is produced by melting 3D printing textiles to create the necessary properties within the same textile-like materials. The process involves a 3D knitting process where polymer-base yarns are fed into an automated loom capable of creating various patterns in selected sections of the weave to enable flexibility and rigidity. According to the designer, the area of the shoe nearest the ankle might require more flexibility, where as the toe, heel, and arch sections require more rigid construction for support. The shoes are knitted in flat sections, then sewn together and heat pressed into their 3D printed soles. Prior to final assembly, the heel and toe sections are heat-pressed and laser engraved to accurately harden discrete section. Different colours and patterns are easily programmed into the loom and incorporated into the final weave. The designer believes creating the product with a single material will dramatically reduce the recycling cost of similar products which require multi-material construction. As additional benefits, he says the process will conserve natural resources and save energy and reduce greenhouse gases and the ensuing pollution.

In the UK alone approx. 330 million pairs of shoes sold each year with the majority ultimately ending up in a landfill. Experts estimate these will take 50 years to decompose.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silvia Fado

Silvia Fado , is a shoe designer who regularly combines fashion, architecture, and 3D printing with traditional shoe making practices to make women’s footwear. The innovative designer uses her own 3D printer (ZMorph 2.0 S 3D printer) with the capabilities of not only 3D printing, but also of CNC milling and laser cutting. The combination of old and new has resulted in several amazing footwear collections, each bearing Fado’s distinct signature and style.

In her collection Kinetic Traces, Fado combined a relatively traditional looking leather shoe top with a futuristic looking heel made from a 3D printed base, and a number of industrial springs and pneumatic hydraulics.

For her Carbonalise collection, she manufactured the shoe heels out of a carbon fiber material, which was strengthened and stylized with a metal strip, making for a sleek and modern design.

In one of her most recent designs, which she has called Ray of Liberty, Fado was inspired by New York’s Freedom Tower building, and has incorporated elements of its architecture into the impressive shoe design. The shoes, which were designed for Internet of Fashion Runway at New York Fashion Week 2016, are made from a transparent filament material and have a changing color light source within them that glows and emits rays of light.

The various 3D printing materials used in the designer’s creations are strong and durable, have been supplied by 3D printing filament company ColorFabb , who have sponsored the emerging fashion designer. In her future designs, Fado will reportedly keep experimenting with new 3D printing materials to find the best fit for a particular design and will begin incorporating more CNC milling and laser cutting into her manufacturing process.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shoe Exhibition - Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe :The Frick Pittsburgh

The The Frick Pittsburgh is hosting Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. exhibition which explores fashion's most provocative accessory. From the high platform chopines of 16th-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets, the exhibition looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history and its enduring place in our popular imagination. As fashion statement, fetish object, instrument of power, and outlet of artistic expression for both the designer and the wearer, throughout the ages the high-heeled shoe has gone through many shifts in style and symbolism. On display are nearly 150 historic and contemporary heels on loan from designers, the renowned Brooklyn Museum costume collection housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bata Shoe Museum, and others. Included among the many artists, designers, and fashion houses represented in Killer Heels are: Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Zaha Hadid, Iris van Herpen, X United Nude, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Prada, and Roger Vivier.

The exhibition, which is organized by the Brooklyn Museum, opens on Thursday, June 9 and will remain on view through to September 4, 2016. The cost of admission is $12.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 : Los Angeles County Museum of Art

With 200 historical and contemporary ensembles , Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 explores the history of men’s fashionable dress from the eighteenth century to the present. Drawing primarily from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) extensive collection the exhibition traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how elements of the uniform have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals how cinching and padding the body was, and is, not exclusive to women. Also featured are many modern shoe styles, such as Jeremy Scott x Adidas spring ’13 designs and Etro’s fall ’14 collection. This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and made possible by Ellen A. Michelson. Additional support is provided by the Wallis Annenberg Director's Endowment Fund. Funding is also provided by Eugene Sadovoy.

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 runs from April 10 until April 21st 2016.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

William Rossi DPM (1911 -2003)

Bill Rossi was a podiatrist who became a prolific commentator on matters of the foot and footwear. In 1984 he was commission to write Professional Shoe Fitting (co-authored by Ross Tenant, D.P.M.), by the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) and the book continues to be the industry's authoritative basis for training people to fit shoes. Bill was the son of a custom shoe maker who also owned a family shoe store in Boston that served customers for more than 50 years. The young Rossi helped out in the store, where his lifelong fascination with shoes and the feet they cover began. Bill graduated from Middlesex College of Podiatry by age 18 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served through World War II. Following the war, he moved back into the shoe industry as a writer and editor.

Rossi authored six other books on footwear and the shoe business; the toe curlingly funny The Sexlife of the Foot and Shoe and the definitive The Complete Footwear Dictionary as well as four retail sales training manuals; hundreds of articles for a variety of publications, including the Encyclopedia Britannica; and 18 years' worth of columns for Footwear News. He also served as a marketing expert for Stride Rite. Over the course of his career, Rossi visited and studied the footwear industry in 28 countries. William Rossi passed away in 2003 at the age of 92.