What Are Shoes Really For? 7 Designers That Will Make You Think Twice

Obviously There’s No Single Answer

Of course we didn’t expect a single answer to the question we posed at the start of this article, and if we’d got one, then we’d have gone wrong somewhere.

For us, the point is in asking the question itself, and the thought it provokes in something as common as buying shoes.

Like so many other aspects of the creative industries, we find ourselves too often dismayed by the lack of creative spark in today’s work.

Our starting assumption is that this has resulted from three inter-dependent factors, which we’ll come back to no doubt in the future:

a gradual increase in the role and influence and acceptance of commercialisation in the creative industries

the prioritisation of growth, profit and share price over pretty much everything else by those who determine the value of businesses

the impact branding for a mass market can have on design priorities

In this article we’ve looked at a few designers who we feel still hold creativity and design at the core of their work, and don’t appear to be forced down paths by excessive commercial pressures.

What we will find equally interesting is what happens to them in future. As and when they become more conventional definitions of commercial shoe industry success, how will design evolve as profits scale up?

That is particularly critical if they attract “professional” investment to fund expansion. This will be most relevant for folks who lie closer to the fashion world, or aim for a larger rather than niche market.

That’s it for now – look out for more articles on footwear.  Sign up to make sure you see them early, and don’t forget to tell us what you think on our Facebook page.